Wait. Expect. Ponder. Wonder.
Eleven months of rushing, racing, scrambling over top of ourselves, for this. This short moment each year, where we sit and we wait. We expect. We ponder. We see the wintry world through the eyes of our children and through our hearts.
Candles in wreaths. Calendars with secrets behind each new day. Paper chains that fall away, one simple curl of red or green or blue or white, at a time.
Nine Decembers ago, I was expecting Alex. His due date, Christmas Day. It was advent and I was truly expecting. I was hoping, yearning, excited for this baby boy to be. My heart was quiet and full all at once and it was the sweetest advent season of my life, thus far.
We bought this felt snowflake advent calendar at Jo-Anne’s Fabrics one evening as we killed time before a birthing class. Each morning before work, I moved that wooden snowflake and knew, we are closer. He is coming.
He, being Christ. Our savior. Prince of Peace. Emmanuel.
But also, for this one advent, I had the extra hope of a new life moving within me.
Each morning, the snowflake moved us closer to our son – to our whole new life as parents, as a family.
And we waited.
This morning, Alex, who has sprouted another inch at least in the past three months and has pants that all ride up around his ankles – Alex, my long awaited first son, he came into my room to tell me a riddle. Boundless in energy, he shifted his weight from foot to foot and rubbed his hands together, bubbling with enthusiasm…and he forgot the answer to his own question. I’ll be back! Wait, can I have some crackers? And he bolted from my room.
If my life were a cartoon, there would have been a visible rush of wind in his wake.
This morning, I am a mother in advent.
I am a mother who is sometimes, just waiting for the day when Mad Libs and knock knock jokes will actually be funny, and not just gross or nonsensical and peppered with the words that make. no. sense.
I am waiting for the morning when no coffee cups will turn cold before they are finished – or the day when no one locks the bathroom door and then closes it behind them, just for fun, only for their brother to discover it when he is on the verge of peeing his pants because he waits until the last minute to stop playing and make his mad dash to the toilet.
So, where was I again?
attempting to quieting my heart this season, as best I can, with the rhythms of my children pounding around me, straight through me, it feels like sometimes. Mama, listen to our new song! Mama, Evie is poopie! Mama, I spilled my milk! Mama, Dharma smells and I can’t eat with her near me!
It’s a different sort of quiet, and a different sort of waiting.
Nine years ago, I awaited our savior’s birth with the beautiful reminder of a full womb. I remember tearing up during Christmas carols sung in the small space of a basement church with folding metal chairs and the simplest of simple decorations. I remember the peace, the calm. I remember, I do.
This morning, I am a mother in advent and I am longing for hibernation, over celebration. I am longing for the end more than the beginning – the savior more than the baby.
This morning, my heart is longing as a mother who needs just a touch more patience and peace and resolution – and as a soul who just needs to be the child at the knee of a savior.
Come, thou long expected Jesus.
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.