This holiday season I received a lot of Christmas cards. And I love them. I love that people actually spend time on them, I love seeing the pictures, I love reading the three-page Christmas letters from my grandma’s friends (about people I have never met), and I love that people actually spend time addressing and stamping a real card that brightens my mailbox for the month of December.
I send out Christmas cards, too, and I put a lot of thought into them. This year, I decided to send one out with just my children. I combed through this year’s pictures on my iPhone and computer. I found my favorites of them – one for each child individually that showed their personality and some of them together. As I was looking through the photos of them together, I was reminded of what an amazing gift they have given each other. I’ve realized that more than any other card I have ever sent out – ever – this year’s card has the best story.
My children are not all blood; they came to each other from different mothers and different fathers. But they have found a bond and a love. They had to learn to grow, and sacrifice, and make concessions for one another over the years. They are children who have used their free will to decide to love each other…After 7 years, they have found a relationship with each other that works. A relationship that has grown into a loving, bonding, purposeful relationship that is not stereotyped by “step-brother”,”step-sister”, “step-” anything; they call each other, they hang out with each other, they fight with each other, they forgive each other, and, above all, they love each other. They love each other because they make the choice to do so. And all of the pictures on our Christmas card this year showcase that accomplishment; for them, for our family, and for everyone who received the card.
So, although I may not be in the pictures on the card this year, as their mother, it felt right to celebrate our family’s three greatest achievements this year: the kids’ bond, their love, and their unlimited sibling affection.
When there comes a day that another child is going to college out of state, or getting married, or moving away, and so on, and so on…When the family pictures becomes harder and harder to navigate, we can look back at Christmas 2015. And we’ll know that our Christmas card told the love story of three beautiful children coming together to make a family and teaching us all about what love can really look like.