All the pictures of Gage's first Christmas program are like this one. This has the most of his face showing, the others have bits and pieces. While I was struggling to take his picture, he was struggling to be seen by us. I could see the look of frustration in his eyes, he had seen Keaton's programs before and knew what to expect - and this wasn't it. We would always have him sit on our lap and we would point out where Keaton was and sing and clap and take his picture. I felt the look on Gage's face. I struggled at the kids being lined up four and five deep. Parents all around us felt the same frustration. This was the Day of all days, this was about their kids.

Just like Gage and nana, we all struggle to see and be seen. We don't need to be in the front row but we do have a need to be recognized by Someone who loves us. Find someone who didn't have that need met and you will find one who isn't firing on all cylinders.

The struggle to see is one that takes time and effort. While it will always be a struggle, it does not come naturally as does the struggle to be seen. One, we are desperate to get while the other is one we, hope to grow and gain someday.

Strug-gle (strug/al)
1. to contend vigorously with an adversary
2. to make strenuous effort
3. to make one's way with great effort.

Struggle is in all areas of our lives. We don't always struggle in the same ways, about the same things. Circumstances, personalties and environment all play a role in how it plays out in our lives. When we do struggle in common, bonds are formed. We are able to help and comfort one another. We don't feel all alone and that allows us to continue to make our way with great effort.

Gage's picture has become an icon to me over the last few days. The holidays have their own built in struggles whether money, memories or overload and they won't just go away, come January. Wherever we are each struggling today, Someone is sharing it with us - and as we continue to make our way with great effort, we are not alone ...