The holidays are such a romantic time of year. Or maybe it is all of the holiday movies I have been watching on the Hallmark Channel. My sister and I have spent many evenings camped out in front of the TV this season. So far we have seen seven movies, and we still have a few more recorded. Our goal is to watch twelve movies before New Years Eve.
After that we have promised ourselves we will stop before we get completely absorbed into that fantasy world. It is the only place where a tough minded, single career woman can trip on the stairs and wake up in an alternate universe where she ended up marrying her college sweetheart. Or a lonely waitress can kidnap a guy and make him pretend to be her boyfriend for a family Christmas party, only to discover that they have fallen in love by the end of the weekend.
I can't help but wish that Santa would bring me a boyfriend for Christmas this year. I want to feel all of the excitement of dating someone new and introducing him to my family. And having him put on a nice suit and hold my hand in church on Christmas Eve.
Actually, if I could live my own Hallmark movie, I would turn the clock back five years and start fresh. I would know exactly the type of guy I am looking for instead of wasting all of that time dating the Boy. And we could meet and fall in love with enough time to spare in case we decided to have a baby before I turn 40.
Yesterday I was sitting in church with my niece sleeping peacefully on my lap. I looked down at the red embroidered flowers on her dress and felt her delicate hand entwined with mine. I listened as she sucked on her thumb and sighed so contently. For a moment I closed my eyes and had this picture in my mind of what my life would be like if I were holding my own daughter instead of my niece. Maybe it was a Hallmark movie flashback, but it felt real to me.
As I sat there, I came to the realization that it is not up to me to choose whether or not I have a baby. It is really up to God or the universe, or whatever higher power you might believe in. So if it is my destiny to be a mom, then I guess God will have to start by sending me a man to fall in love with. And the rest will take care of itself.
Somehow I felt a sense of relief to put my fate in someone else's hands. It certainly takes the pressure off me to make all of these decisions against a ticking biological clock.
At the end of the mass, the pastor came up to say a few words to everyone. He wished us a Merry Christmas and then he said that he hoped we would find much happiness and joy as whatever God has planned for us unfolds throughout the new year.
I know he said those words to a room full of people but it felt like the message was intended especially for me. It was almost as if the pastor, with his knowing smile, might actually have an idea of what was in store for me.
Part of me wanted to flag him down after mass and ask 'So, what exactly is God's plan for me and how will it unfold? Will it be simple like a napkin or more complicated, like an origami swan?'
That could almost be the beginning of another Hallmark movie. A single woman in the midst of a mid-life crisis meets a priest who holds the key to her future. Then I would know how things turn out within about two hours. Or ninety minutes if I fast forward through the commercials.
My life may not be a Hallmark movie, but it is the beginning of a new year. And every day I am one step closer to wherever it is I am meant to be.