Archive for December, 2010

December 15, 2010

The Light of the Season

Advent is probably my favorite liturgical season: it is filled with great anticipation and yet with tremendous joy.  Not only is a baby to be born, but the child is to be the Savior of the world!

 

Experiencing pregnancy this year has given me a special opportunity to consider Mary’s life in the months leading up to Jesus’ birth.  When I felt ill, I thought about whether Mary had morning sickness, and how she handled it.  When I felt the baby kick, I thought how much more amazing it must have been for Mary to feel the Son of God in her womb.  Although my child is not God himself, he is a gift in much the same way Jesus was to Mary.  How blessed we both are in our motherhood, to have the primary responsibility to care for one of God’s children and the beautiful experience of living God’s love as a parent.

 

Especially because I have a baby boy, now I find myself often looking at Jacob and how I interact with him and wondering what the same sort of situation looked like between Jesus and Mary.  I wonder, did Jesus fall asleep easily at night, or were the first couple of months difficult for him and his earthly parents?  How old was Jesus when he started to smile?  What did Mary and Joseph do to make him laugh? Was Jesus a small baby, or did he have cheeks that seems to double in size each day, like our Peanut?

 

Watching my little one squeaking and talking to a toy on the floor in front of me right now, I am grateful for this glimpse into a time of Jesus’ life that is rarely discussed.  It has helped me to be more patient with myself and with Jacob.  God really does understand every part of our humanity—He lived it!  It is incredible to recognize the face of Jesus in this little guy every day.

 

Babies really do help you to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life—if you let them.  This weekend, we got our Christmas tree, and after John put the lights on it, we showed it to Jacob.

 

I admit that most of Jacob’s waking time is devoted to gazing at whatever kind of light in within his range of vision, but I found a deeper meaning in his fascination with the lights on the tree.  In this very busy season, he was delighted by a simple string of lights—and isn’t that what Advent and Christmastime are all about?  Finding joy in the simple reality of the Light in our world, which dispels darkness and offers peace.

 

“In Your light we see light.” (Ps 36:9)

 

What a joy to celebrate Advent with a little boy, and how grateful I am for a renewal of faith in my motherhood!  Amen.

December 14, 2010

Tuesdays with Jacob

In publishing, new titles are usually released on Tuesdays.  So when our little guy was born on a Tuesday night—our own little new release—I was delighted for more reasons than one.

 

Each Tuesday since has provided me with a special opportunity to reflect on how far both he and I have come since he was born.  As we mark the passage of each week, I find myself thinking back to what John and I were doing on the day Jacob was born.  I know my mom does this on my birthday each year, and I see why.  It’s natural to reflect on the life of this little boy, who is now in my arms, growing bigger and bigger each week.  And yet it’s surreal to think back on the time, not so long ago, when he was still in my belly and we were waiting to meet him.  This perspective has made Tuesday my new favorite day of the week.

 

During the first two weeks of his life, we measured Jacob’s age in days.  After that, we measured in weeks, or more often, weeks-and-a-half—any day that wasn’t a Tuesday (he was born on a Tuesday) merited a response that gave credit to the passage of that extra day, or two, or six.

 

Today we reached the twelve-week mark, and we’re beginning to transition to measuring our little one’s age in months.  In fact, I just told a woman in the elevator that Jacob is “almost three months.”  Contrary to what you may have been taught, twelve weeks does not necessarily equate to three months in my book.  I’ll save that for December twenty-first, thankyouverymuch.

 

The time is going quickly, for sure, but because I’m with him all day, I don’t feel that it’s passing too quickly.  Sure, I’m getting nostalgic as he grows out of clothes—and frustrated with myself for not cycling some of the less worn pieces into his wardrobe sooner—but watching him do new things like snuggle more in the mornings, and smile and coo more in the evenings is phenomenal.  I wouldn’t trade in these days for the old, and I’m trying to be constantly aware of what a blessing each moment with him is.

 

Things may also seem a bit slower because our Peanut is the size of the average six-month-old.  More often than not, people think he’s older than he is, so saying that he’s younger than folks expect makes it seem like the time isn’t getting away from us so quickly.  Perhaps it’s all an illusion, and in the future, I will think it all passed too quickly, but not now.

 

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life, I learned while I was abroad in college, but I’m finding it’s even more important now.  It is to be grateful for every day, whether it was easy or hard, happy or sad, clearly life-changing or seemingly mundane.  I hope I can pass that lesson on to this little guy, because he has certainly made it even more real for me.

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