It's crazy because theoretically this is supposed to be a really magical year for us, Christmas-wise. What with this happy little baby who sits in one place and marvels at the lights, and a 3 year old who barely remembers the year before, and a 6 year old that is just starting to be able to do the fun stuff.
We threw in the towel and decided not to do Christmas cards this year.
Mostly because they'd probably turn out like this:
And who am I kidding anyway? By the time I get home from work each day I am surrounded by pure mass chaos, and we're really just hunkering down in survival mode...not exactly basking in the wonder of candlelight Christmas baths. (What was I thinking?)
But last year, the books became a hassle. The boys were always fighting, and didn't feel like reading when we opened them. And didn't hear a word I said when I told them what fun we would have. And sometimes life got too crazy and we didn't have time to do it, and I didn't feel good about that.
It's just the pace of everyday life right now, and that bothers me. How can I continue at this pace, I find myself wondering? And then, I spend even more time wondering how I CAN'T.
I know that twin sympathy pain is probably all a hoax, but I felt every twinge of hopefulness with her this round.
I have no idea at all how she must be feeling, and yet I know exactly what she went through.
I've known her heart as long as I can remember, and her heart is to be a mother.
She's grown up, and she's done a lot of things. She's been to lots of school. She's been a coach, and a substitute teacher, and a nanny and now she's a physical therapy assistant who works brutal hours doing a brutal amount of work, all while struggling with the daily pain of arthritis, and I know she does all of that well.
And I laighed and wiped my eyes and spread some butter on it.
And the carols played, and the decorations were everywhere, but inside all I felt was...hollow. Hopeless, even surrounded by all those reminders of hope.
But I can't. Even though I am also still nursing the little guy all night long.
I'm crazy, I know.
But I love these guys, and I'd love one more.
But that is life, In the end, there are limitations.
I was proud of him, but not surprised.
The infertility, and the endless labor, and the hopelessness, and the limitations.
And I knew I was having some sort of hormonal partial weaning crisis, when I dissolved into a puddle of tears over the whole thing.
Maybe it was the way the boy was wearing old worn clothes, and how I struggle with watching my sons in their thrift shop clothes that don't fit quite right next to the wealthy beach side kids whose brand new raincoats have their names on them.
Or maybe it was the way that the boy called his mom "Mama", like my sweet Aquaman still does. How he just knew his Mama would want to look pretty for Jesus, and how I know Aquaman would know the same thing, because he has this special way of looking like he's not listening when he's really breathing in every word.
"Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear. "
In the silence of God.
There's a reason God was silent those years just before He sent His son.
It helps us open our eyes.
Shall come to thee O Israel."
Stepping out into the impossible hopelessness of it all.
He is here.
Emmanuel cared enough to come.