“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth…”
My daughter-in-law Manoela had asked about family videos. “I just want to see Kevin when he was a little boy, to hear his voice.”
I looked inside the family room’s closet. Where to begin? Twenty years of memories sat piled on the shelf in no particular order, not touched in as many years. I asked my husband Kurt to pick a couple, suggesting we share a tape or two during our upcoming family vacation. As Kurt grabbed cassette after cassette after cassette, I urged caution. “Kurt, too many! No one’s going to want to spend that much time watching unedited family videos.”
Ignoring my pleas, Kurt put every last tape into a sack. “I’ll sort through them later.”
Two nights later Kurt and I sat together with Kevin and Manoela and our son Kyle and his wife Katie in the living room of a rented condo. Attaching our older camera to a newer TV, Kurt loaded the first tape and clicked “Play.” There on the screen were two little boys playing football in the snow, Kyle’s shoulder pads dwarfing his six-year old frame, Kevin running with the abandon of a four-year old, laughter filling the frosty night air.
After the snow scenes came recordings of Kyle and Kevin playing hockey in the garage. Now my eyes began to water as Kevin giggled in sheer joy and Kyle smiled in sheer delight, both boys chasing a plastic baseball with hockey sticks meant for players twice their size.
Sounds of laughter. The giggles of two little boys touched my heart. The sounds of their laughter brought tears of joy. I’d forgotten those moments of childhood play when joy and gladness filled a room with silliness, when one little boy raced to keep up with his bigger brother.
An angel of the Lord announced the birth of John the Baptist, promising joy and gladness. Many would rejoice. The angel knew John would be part of God’s great narrative. So, too, are we. So, too, are our children, their giggles and laughter reminders of great rejoicing.