When I was a kid, it used to frustrate me to no end that my Dad never wanted anything for Christmas. We would ask, pens and paper pads ready to mark down notes, and he would shrug and say he had everything he wanted.
What?? Surely there was something he wanted. We couldn't get him nothing for Christmas--how sad would that be? So, we'd make him a card or plead to Mom for help so he would at least have something waiting for him under the tree on Christmas morning. I never understood how he couldn't want anything. I always knew what I wanted--why was it so hard for Dad?
But. Now I've grown up.
We're at my in-laws' house today, to celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas Day tomorrow with them, and as Cub and I sat by their beautiful Christmas tree this morning, I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Of course, he just smiled and pointed at the tree, and I thought again about what I wanted for Christmas.
And, sure enough, as cheesy and cliche as it sounds, I have everything I want this year. A beautiful son. A husband whom I love more and more every day, who works so hard to provide for us. Amazing parents. My husband's parents, whom I view more as actual parents than simply parents "in-law". A supportive, amazing group of friends who share life with us. Cub even has a little group of friends.
When you face illness, you realize the miracle of health. When you lose a loved one, who realize the gift of life. When you struggle with miscarriage or losing a child (or really, even if you don't suffer those things), you recognize the indescribable joy of having children. As you grow older, you realize that the things that are valuable don't come with a price tag. It's the cliche that is spoken every year, wedged between commercials for new cars and deals at Target, but it speaks volumes.
And as Cub and I sat by the tree, I thought of my Dad. I thought of his life--how he lost his Dad when he was my age.
And how, through treatment and the hands of the Great Physician, I don't have to say the same thing.
And now I understand what he meant all those years ago. He has everything he wants.
And I do, too.