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Column: A mother's first Christmas

by Beth Reed | December 22, 2019 at 3:00 a.m.

The children at our church recently put on their annual Christmas program and our 9-month-old son, Charlie, made his stage debut as baby Jesus.

The kids did such a great job, and if I may add, so did Charlie, who sat calmly and sweetly on "Mary's" hip through the whole program. Collin and I were so proud -- he didn't even forget any of his lines.

I have to admit though, as a new mom this year I wasn't as focused on the story of Jesus' birth and how our Lord came to Earth as a baby to grow up in the same harsh world we all have to endure. This year my thoughts went to Mary -- a new mother tasked with not only raising the child God entrusted to her, but in loving and safeguarding the savior of the world. I wondered if she had the same everyday fears, worries and doubts about her parenting abilities as I do.

Of course, her son was the perfect savior of the world. Did the gravity of that realization weigh on her heart daily?

When Mary rocked Jesus to sleep in the evenings -- as I do Charlie -- did she thank God for this gift she didn't feel she deserved and repeatedly ask him "Why me? Am I really the best mom for him?"

Were some days so hard that she also counted down the minutes to bedtime? Did she also make mental checklists of what needed to be done the next day while her son slept in her arms?

I then started to wonder if when Jesus was around the age Charlie is now, did Mary stress herself out over what table foods to start him on or try with him next. There weren't parenting magazines or useful apps in those days with so much information (a lot of it conflicting) that it makes your head spin. Maybe the angel circled back to Mary around this time to bring her all the pertinent and truly helpful data she needed. Wouldn't that be nice?

And when Jesus was starting to pull up on the furniture and work up the courage to take those first steps, do you think he, too, lost his balance and took a tumble? Do you think Mary was quick to scoop him up and pull him close to try and void the inevitable tears?

I'm sure I'm not the first mother to ponder these things. Yes, Mary's child was perfect, but I doubt that excluded her from feeling tired, overwhelmed and inadequate as a lot of us new moms do.

One thing I know for certain -- Collin and I were blessed to have such a joy-filled little boy. I pray each day Charlie never stops shining the light of Jesus in this dark world.

As we continue through this holiday season, my thoughts will likely still drift to those "I wonder if Mary ever ... " moments. I think it's only natural for a new mother at Christmastime.

Editorial on 12/22/2019

Print Headline: A mother's first Christmas


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