In my first pregnancy, with our oldest daughter, I was showered with showers. Generous friends, coworkers and relatives hosted a handful of celebrations and provided everything that we could need for Sweet Baby K (as she was known to them since we had not found out the sex of the baby during ultrasounds).
Due at the end of December, I decided that late fall was the best time to cut off extensive travel. One of the last trips I took was to Pittsburgh to celebrate a shower hosted by my mom and sister. These ladies invited family, young and old, men and women, immediate and distant to come for an afternoon of laughs and congratulatory gestures.
Unbeknownst to me, my mother and sister had contacted all of the guests prior to the celebration to ask them to send wishes for Sweet Baby K. My mom then turned those wishes into ornaments and presented my husband and me with a truly heartfelt Christmas tree.
My mom called me her sunshine growing up and would often sing to me and draw sunshines on lunch notes and letters. So she created a sunshine tree for my little one. On each sunshine ornament (complete with different facial expressions, of course) was a wish for my child.
They ranged from blessings for a strong faith to silly comments that she/he not keep parents up all night long.
We’ve kept the tree, now nine years old. When my oldest daughter became aware of Christmas and decorating, we pulled out the sunshine tree. At age 5, she smiled back to the sunshine ornaments and loved the sparkling garland.
She’s nearly nine now, and she puts out her tree every year. We read together these wishes – many of which were sent by relatives now past – and I tell her stories about these people who loved her, even before she was born. And we laugh together.
And I’m grateful for all the wishes that have come true.
M.J. is the mother of three, a graphic designer/social media specialist by day (and night), and the creator of the website Pars Caeli where she challenges her readers to celebrate the normal. She believes that sometimes we’re not fully aware of the little pieces of Heaven all around us. And that sometimes we overlook our own capacity to be one of those pieces. Connect with @parscaeli on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.