Monday, March 4, 2013

Kate Miller 7: Christmas Eve

When we decided to share our exciting news with the family! 

7. Christmas Eve
            Kate awoke early the morning after they arrived in Colorado. Blast jet lag, she thought. And then on second consideration, she also “blasted” insatiable hunger, early morning light, and cold ears. She turned over. Mister snored in her face. Goodness! I guess I’ll just get up, she thought. Out in the dining room Kate opened the sliding curtains to let the sunshine in and sat down in its direct rays as she drank her coffee, studied the Bible, and wrote in her journal. Even the usually prancing dog was asleep on its pillow.
early morning
            She wrote, Maybe early mornings aren’t SO bad. We’re in Colorado now, at the Miller parents’ house, and I’m the first one up. It’s a deliciously peaceful way to start Christmas Eve. I can’t BELIEVE it’s already Christmas Eve! We will have to tell them today about the baby. I know the longer we wait, the stranger it will be…and I felt so ill in the car yesterday, I almost couldn’t stand not having them know! I do hope they’re excited. It makes sense that they would be, but I don’t feel at all sure of it. No, I’m sure they will be. At least, for Mom and Dad Miller, I’m pretty confident. But I have no idea how excited Jack and Bettina will be.
            At breakfast, Mom Miller declared, “Now just so everyone knows, I only have one Christmas Eve gift this year, and it’s for your Father. And we all know what that is…”
            Someone else filled in the blank with a joyous shout, “Flannel pajamas!”
            Dad Miller winced.
            Kate and Mister did some last minute Christmas shopping and then went with the others to the church service. It was packed, loud, and Kate was hungry. Though the style of the service was not to her particular taste, she felt moved by the sermon, with her new knowledge adding layers of meaning to her love of the holiday. A savior is born as a baby, she thought tearfully.
            For dinner, the Millers dug into a large exotic gift basket from their Uncle Patrick. They stood around the kitchen moving with ease and comfort to stand or sit and sample all the different foods. Kate maneuvered to stand next to Mister at one end of the island, and he asked, “Shall we tell them?” She nodded. Now was as good a time as any.
            Mister raised his voice, “Well, Kate and I have an announcement. We’re expecting…” he said simply.
            “You’re kidding!” replied Dad Miller, among everyone else’s expressions of surprise and congratulation. Kate was glad that she had already learned that this was not a statement of doubt, but rather her father-in-law’s standard response of modest excitement and happiness.

the "flannel pajamas"
            After the usual questions about due date, health, and morning sickness, Mom Miller brought the threatened Christmas Eve package. “Well, after that, this is going to be anticlimactic,” she said, “You’ll have to put it on…” she reiterated for the tenth time.
 “I’m not putting them on,” Dad replied for the tenth time. But as he opened the box, he relaxed and said, “Oh wow! Thank you!”
For there was nary a scrap of flannel in the box. Instead, it was filled with a luxury assortment of Godiva truffles and special chocolate.
As they sat around, still talking and eating chocolate instead of crackers and artichoke dip, Jack (Mister’s youngest brother) shared his excitement about the baby.
“I’m going to be an uncle!” he exclaimed.
Kate looked at him in surprise. She had hoped for some positive reaction, but hadn’t expected this. He was clearly bouncing up and down inside.
“I mean,” he explained, “Do you know how long I’ve waited for this? Three years, I’ve had two married brothers, and now I’m finally going to be an uncle!”
Kate laughed out loud in her delight. Oh yes, they were all excited. She was sure of it. 

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