These days there's lots of talk of shopping and presents. It goes without saying that there's really only one gift we want... We know from experience though that sometimes the gift you ask for isn't the gift you get, sometimes the miracle you hope for isn't the miracle you receive.We were expecting Tucker when we discovered that Celia's illness was hereditary, that the new baby could be sick, too. And so we wished and wished that he would be spared. We prayed and prayed for a healthy baby. We didn't ask for a handsome boy with silky hair and almond eyes, one who would be a quick study or one who would have such a pleasing personality. We didn't wish for an infant who would sleep through the night or even for one who would not spit up. We just wanted healthy. We gave up on good looking, we gave up on gifted, we gave up on sleep and the thought of less laundry. We even gave up on average. We stopped yearning for everything except healthy.
Over the past several weeks, Tucker has gained new tricks at a near daily rate. First he leaned in and gave kisses. Next he clapped and gave high fives and he waved. And then he stood by himself, albeit briefly. His talents multiply and his gifts keep giving. Of course, he doesn't yet recite Shakespearean sonnets and he hasn't solved cold fusion. And he chews on the laptop cord and crawls headfirst into the coffee table. And we are thankful... for healthy and for what seems like average, what feels like normal. He aims to unload the dishwasher right along side, or collect the mail from where it’s spread after it’s slipped through the front door slot. But he’s only nine months old, and there are knives in the dishwasher and he gives himself paper cuts and gags on the bits his teeth rip from the bills. He’d like to help scrub the dog from beside the tub and to lend a hand hanging ornaments from the tree branches. But he’s fallen over the side and into the bath water, and he shakes the shiny ornaments like they're a whole new batch of rattle toys. His style of helping isn't especially helpful. But, he is helping us. We can't get over how lucky we are to have him, what a privilege it is to watch him become himself. He is such a gift.