It is 4:51 in the morning, and both you and I have been awake now for an hour. We'll have to chat about these early mornings at some point (3 days in a row now that we've been up at 3), but since it's Christmas morning, we'll let this one slide. Kids always are up at the crack of pre-dawn on Christmas, and Santa is in the house (of course, he's sleeping in the spare bedroom and you'll know him as "Grandpa," but why quibble over details?
I wish you could see the outside, Baby -- God has sent a soft blanket of snow to cover all the earth's imperfections, and staring out the window is like looking at a nature painting: Study in Winter Beauty. Each tree limb is bent under the weight of the snow and looks like it has been especially beautified in honor of Christmas. What was predicted to be 2-3 inches materialized into 6 before any of us knew it. Considering that I'm stuck indoors, I am blessed enough to be able to enjoy its beauty without having to deal any shoveling or cold. I did step outside before we went to bed (don't tell Dr. Martin) to just breathe deeply and be thankful to live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Even your Uncle Richard was impressed at how beautiful the forest was yesterday during the snowfall (pretty remarkable, considering that at the time he was chasing your hound dogs, who thought fresh snow was a perfect opportunity to hunt rabbits and ran away from him when he took them outside).
But, as much as I'd like to share this beautiful sight with you, I don't wish you here with us any sooner. These next two months will seem endless with the waiting for you, but after a week in the hospital and week 1 of bedrest, I'm prepared to do what it takes to make sure you are born as close to term as possible. After visiting the NICU last week during our hospital stay, I'm relieved and resigned to know that even if you come early, you'll have incredibly good care. That said, my wish for you is that you are born able to breathe on your own, able to take food the traditional way (as opposed to having a feeding tube down your nose), and ready to enjoy life with us, rather than having to fight for your breath, nourishment, and comfort.
Oh, Baby, I have so many wishes for you on this, your first Christmas. I have a feeling there may even be a present or two for you from your family, even though your presence at today's family event will consist of your aunts and uncles and grandparents rubbing my belly and feeling you poke and jab at them (and me).
I wish, most of all, for you to be safe and healthy. It's been a little stressful these last few weeks, knowing that you might be coming any time now, and knowing that if you do come in the next few weeks, you'll have to go to the NICU until you're healthy and strong enough to live at home. I know you're strong -- you're your daddy's boy, and he's always been strong -- especially over these last few weeks as he's had to do both his and Mommy's chores on top of his working.
I wish for enough financial freedom that you don't know hunger or want. Things are pretty tough right now, and I can't promise you a life filled with "stuff." There are so many things I want to be able to give you, but we may have to settle for a roof over our heads and food to fill our bellies.
I wish for you to know joy in life's simple things. I hope that you will know the peace that comes from wanting what we have, instead of having what we want. You may (should I say "will"?) never have a fancy video game system to entertain you, but you will have the back yard and the forest, in which you will be able to create your own worlds of imagination and entertainment. You may never have fancy clothes or toys, but you will have the love of everyone around you. You're coming into a pretty wonderful family, Baby. They bring me joy every time I am around them, and I wish that same sense of happiness for you whenever you get to be with them as well.
I wish for you a solid faith built on the knowledge that there is a force in our lives who loves and guides us as we live our lives. I hope you are able to find Him in the world around you and the lives you touch. I know He has already touched your life -- He sent you to us, even though medical technology told us we'd never be able to have a baby. Your very existence is a miracle, Baby, and I hope for myself that I never forget that (especially when in the throes of labor and delivery or when pulling living things out of your pockets while doing laundry...).
So, Merry Christmas, Baby. Go to sleep now, and when we wake back up, Christmas will officially be here, complete with family and love and even a few presents. I love you.