Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The gift of waiting

We agreed that a third kid would be good.  A third kid could work for us.  This was March, and I told the Nilsen Dad that I was absolutely cool with going for #3, I just didn't want a Christmas baby.

Neither of us are great scientists;  neither are we gifted at math.  Next thing I know, I'm in stirrups being told we're due December 31st.

I spent December 2007 very great with child.  Both of the older kids arrived early, and I fully expected that Nilsen #3 would do the same.  As such, this dyed-in-the-wool procrastinator got Christmas ready way ahead of time.  (And by way ahead of time, I mean in November; my standard 'way ahead of time' means the week before Christmas, instead of Christmas Eve.  God bless UPS Overnight Shipping.)

We spent that last month quietly doing crafts, making cookies, wrapping gifts, and counting down days with no less than five Advent calendars.   Every day, as my belly stretched bigger and wider, and my cheeks threatened to take over my face, I wondered if that day would be the day.

Even in my discomfort, I was grateful for the time and the mental space to reflect on Waiting.  One aspect of that reflection turned into a post which to this day is one of my favorites.  You can find it here.

Looking back though, at that last month of quiet (and yes, it was the last month: I'm told there might be another in 14 years or so), I am aware that it took me until then to fully grasp the meaning of Advent, and the Advent season.

It's a word that gets tossed around pretty frequently, at least for those of us who are semi-regular churchgoers.  Certainly even non-religious families do advent calendars to count down the days to Christmas. For most of my life, I didn't spend much time in thinking on how the advent experience could add to my Christmas season:  I just wanted Christmas Day to come faster!

Finally, as an extremely pregnant thirty-something, I became intensely aware that the expectation, hope, preparation and longing that are part and parcel of a Christmas baby are exactly what I need to focus on when remembering the birth of the Christmas Baby.   This realization has made all the difference in finding ways to make the season meaningful not only for me, but for my family.  We all can remember the time of anxious expectation, and therefore celebrate with heartfelt joy when celebrating the day of birth.


Editor's Note:  I've been journaling - privately - about Advent this season.  There are a few ideas that I've reflected on that feel big enough, broad enough, to share with all of you.  The next few posts will - hopefully - bring a few thoughts on these things.  


Cheryl said...

Beautiful post, Kirsten (and this from a Jewish reader!). One thing - NEVER apologize for or quantify blog posts that come from your heart. People have the choice of not reading it. I really don't know anything about Advent but I'm always open to learning knew things! ;)

Aliza said...

Hear, hear! This from yet another of your Jewish readers!

Marit said...

I second what Cheryl and Aliza said!

I can very much relate to your thoughts on these things, as we have a Christmas baby of our own. (Not so gifted at math, either, apparently.) Walking out of the hospital with a brand new baby the day before Christmas, is something I'll never forget. The immense joy and gratitude we felt was overwhelming and seemed so timely as we were about to celebrate to birth of THE Christmas baby (as you put it).

Looking forward to your next few posts, Kirsten!

kirsten said...

Hey peeps - thanks for the kind support. I took out the 'splainin, and thank you for the encouragement to let a post stand on its own. :)

carin said...

i read your blog though i don't always comment. i loved your post about your cubs. your writing is fun to read!

MiniMe Mom said...

I love this post. A beautiful reminder of what this season is all about.

Harold of Scaggsville said...

I remember being excited that our first was going to be a Christmas baby. We would name her Noelle to reflect on the special time of year.

I have never been able to wait for Christmas and always wanted my presents early. So, she arrived October 9 at 2 lbs 11 oz and we had Christmas in October (and made Noelle her middle name as a reminder). A precious gift indeed. Now she is 13...have mercy on us Lord.

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