But from the moment they laid my precious baby daughter in my arms, I knew that none of that could compare to the joy of having a newborn daughter you didn't expect come into your life at Christmas and change it in, oh, so many wonderful ways.
As a mother of two boys, I assumed when I got pregnant that I'd have another boy. God had played a joke on me by not giving me the daughter I had always expected I would have. After all, as the firstborn daughter of a firstborn daughter of a firstborn daughter, I had always expected I'd have...well...a daughter. Poor Bryan had a beautiful peach and yellow room, complete with ruffled curtains; Mark had the pink bassinet. Fortunately neither of them suffered any ill effects from my expectations.
I loved my two boys and figured we were set. After all, I was a pretty good mom of boys and what would be wrong with having a third one (except for that one niggling thought that I'd also be the mother-in-law to three daughters-in-law.) This third boy who I named Scott Douglas had a plain brown crib and lots of hand-me-down clothes and toys waiting for him. He also had a mom who was a pro at all things boy--scrapes and stitches, trips to the emergency room, hockey sticks, football, jock straps and cups and, of course, everything baseball.
But then Jennifer Haley Doll arrived and what a difference! Where the boys screamed, Jennifer whimpered (the boys will say she whined). Instead of little boy suits with bow ties, Jennifer wore lots of lace and frills and a bow glued to the top of her head. She could mesmerize anyone with those smoky green eyes, that cupid bow mouth, and blonde curls framing her heart-shaped face. She wrapped us around her little finger and never let go. She's the princess of the family, and everyone knows it!
But I'm happy to say that twenty years later--she's still the best Christmas present ever. Happy birthday, sweetheart!
For my readers--what is the best present you ever received and how did it change your life?