Thursday, December 9, 2010
Each year's Advent rhythms are a bit different. There are years with babies, years with toddlers, and years in between. "You've been pregnant for the last six Advents," Ben insists. Not quite, but I do understand how it feels that way. And that certainly does lend a magical air to the expectation of the season.
Our own traditions have developed, expanded, adapted. Last year our attentive toddler and tiny little baby didn't mind sitting through our full adult Advent readings. It was beautiful and special, and made our nightly gatherings especially nurturing for our adult spirits. This year, we have a livelier bunch at our feet. We sing, dance (Lily has a little ritual of going to her rocking chair for the entirety of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" each night). It's our first year using Jesse tree ornaments, which has added a new little ritual-- finding the right ornament, telling the right story.
But even these traditions are fluid. Some stories truly capture our imaginations, others are just a bit too mature for our family this year. We adapt as need be. There are nights when my eyes fill with tears as I read the words, and my whole person fills with a great Amen. And then there are nights that I just laugh as the little ones gather to blow out the candles, and carry on with my evening. And isn't that just right for the season in which we prepare for the great mystery of the Incarnation? A little bit sacred, a little bit ordinary, and absolutely perfect in every way.