I've been told that my baby-to-be is a miracle.
People stare in awe at my bump, and declare it miraculous. And though the fact that there are garments generous enough to cover my circumference is somewhat awesome, it has more to do with the extraordinary properties of lycra than any metaphysical occurrence. The word miracle gets thrown around a lot, and while I'm blown away that a HUMAN BEING IS GROWING INSIDE OF ME and privileged to be its host, with 4 births occuring every second around the world, you'd think we'd stop being impressed by the event.
A miracle is defined as an extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. A wonder, a marvel. The spiritualist in me agrees that this life being created is indeed a wonder, whose existence is the result of a love between two people, the whim of a higher being, and elements that we cannot understand like fate and chance. The scientist in me rolls her eyes, and says that specialized cells meet under favourable conditions, and approximately 40 gestational weeks later, baby is born. The scientist then goes on to ask, sarcastically, if something that can be created just as well by a pair of randy 16-year-olds can ever be called miraculous. She then gets kicked in the ribs by her very own miracle.
But 'tis the season, and there is a lot of talk about miracles, what with immaculate conceptions and oil lasting a week longer than expected, and it just has me thinking, 'tis all. I've decided that this is something of a miracle, but in the same way that a tree is a miracle; an everyday, beautiful, boring, miracle.
So whether you are spending this holiday season contemplating the arrival of a baby, thinking about people with big round bellies, lighting candles and eating deep-fried potatoes, or just spending time with friends and family, I hope it is a nice one for you. (I'll be doing all of the above!)
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Festivus (for the rest of us!)!