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The author and her family on daughter Tayja’s graduation day. Photo credit: Linda Dowd Lambert

When I was nervous about sending my oldest son, Rory, to preschool, I came across a quotation, attributed to writer, Elizabeth Stone, that captured a feeling I’d had since becoming a mother but hadn’t been able to articulate: “Making the decision to have a child — it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Her words acutely described the vulnerability I felt in loving another person so fiercely that I made bargains with the universe about his safety and well-being: “Throw anything at me. I can handle anything that comes my way — except losing this child or having something terrible happen to him.” …

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The author’s eldest five children. Photo credit: Sean P. Lambert St. Marie.

A few years ago, some of my children started noting that when we attend my father’s family reunions they are “the only brown people there,” and that’s almost true.

My dad is the eldest of thirteen siblings in a family of French Canadian heritage hailing from northern Vermont. Two of my thirty-seven surviving first-cousins have partial Puerto Rican heritage. Another cousin has a Latina partner, and they have a baby girl. And, two other kids in my children’s generation self-identify as multiracial with a quarter-Black heritage, though they are nearly always perceived as White due to their physical appearance.

Otherwise, yes, my kids are “the only brown people” at the Lambert family reunion each year. “It’s kind of weird,” said my twelve-year-old son, Stevie, who is Black, this summer. …

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The author reading Rachel Isadora’s The Night Before Christmas with five of her children. Photo provided by the author.

My husband and I are both lapsed Catholics, and we celebrate Christmas in our multiracial, adoptive, blended family with an emphasis on togetherness, giving gifts, and taking joy in traditions. Although I’ve left the Church I grew up in, I still feel a deep connection to many of its stories, and the Nativity story, in particular.

I’m compelled by the vision of the birth of a child as an occasion for wonder, hope, celebration, and reverence. I’m grateful for the equation of the humble with the holy. I’m moved by the depiction of Joseph, embracing his role in Mary’s life and in the life of her child, despite initial doubts and misgivings when he learns about her pregnancy. …


Megan Dowd Lambert

Megan writes about kids' books & writes them too. She teaches Children's Literature at Simmons College and is a mother of 7 in a multiracial, blended family.

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