How are you?
It’s been years since I’ve written to you. I think the last thing I asked you for was probably a baby doll with real eyelashes that opened and closed and one of those plastic baby bottles with pretend milk that looked like it was emptying out as the dolly was “drinking” it. Thanks, by the way. As you are aware, that baby doll was replaced eventually by two living dolls. They were cuter than the one you left, and louder, and a lot more work. But they were gifts, too.
I’m sad to report that they didn’t believe in you long enough. I tried, Santa. I really tried. But then you got outed. I don’t remember who told them, and it doesn’t really matter now. All I know is that one year they were still residents of that warm and wondrous village known as ChildrenwhostillbelieveinSantaClaus, and the next year, they were not. They were older, wiser. A Little Wise Boy, and then a Little Wise Girl.
And while Christmases after they left the village were still wonderful, some of the Christmas Magic left and never returned.
Children want to believe in you, Santa.
Moms do, too. Moms, maybe more.
And this Christmas, I think I speak for a lot of Moms I know when I say we would like a favor from you.
There is a young woman just entering adulthood in Fargo (which, I’m sure you will agree, is a whole lot like the North Pole) who has been in the hospital a long, long time. Her mother needs a gift this holiday season. She has been waiting for her daughter to wake up. A lot of people have been praying for this child, this mother, every day and every night and every moment they can. And God has been listening and answering prayers.
People toss the phrase “It’s a Miracle!” around a lot, don’t they? A basketball player makes a mid-court shot to win the game and fans walk out of the arena calling the shot a miracle. College students pass an exam they weren’t prepared for and call it a miracle. The “M” word is used to explained good things that happen when they shouldn’t, and the repairing of things that appear too broken to fix….like countries, and marriages, and people.
And then, of course…there is Christmas. That season of legit miracles. A Mother and a Child.
That girl in the hospital I told you about a little while back?
Her recovery is a miracle-in-progress.
I know that miracles aren’t your department any more than they are mine. That’s cool. We can’t all be good at everything.
But Santa? I haven’t asked for anything from you in a long time. My hair is grey. I have everything I need because I have everyone I need. They are mostly happy, and quite healthy, and thankfully, blessedly, whole. Sometimes they make me mad or sad or tired, but even when they do, I would never think to return them. In a life of shiny objects I couldn’t care less about, they are my gifts.
Which is why I’m asking for a gift for that other mom. The one with the daughter who sleeps. The one who sits by a hospital bed….holds a daughter’s hand….rubs her back….paints her toenails…prays…and hopes….and faithfully waits for her own baby girl to come back from the slumbered journey she’s been on for too many days and nights now.
When you make it to North Dakota on Christmas Eve, can you stop in there? Park the sleigh at the hospital door? Leave a gift of Christmas Magic for that mom?
And Santa? Please cross me off your list. There is no room in my Christmas stocking.
It is already full.