kaitlyn’s birth

The day this girl was born changed everything for me.

I never had any idea about what the love of a child could possibly mean.

I’ll never have the moment back of seeing Catherine’s face with her firstborn in her arms that first day. Of Kaitlyn falling asleep between us in bed.

I’ll never watch her skating with such joy in a competition, or running behind her on her first bike and then letting go.

I’ll never see the look in her eyes when she found out she got into the college of her dreams, or feel her pain over the phone living so far from home in a first job across the country.

Last night, as I closed up the house, I did what I do every night during the Christmas season.

I go up to our Christmas tree — and rub a branch all over my hands to get the smell of Christmas. I do it to stop for just a moment, just a little moment — to take Christmas in.

I saw an ornament that Kaitlyn made many, many moons ago. I thought about that same night heading to the hospital on the eve of her birth.

A child. It is the wonder of life. It is the gift of Christmas.