I am wearing this dress I used to wear when I was pregnant. Truthfully, the cut still makes me look like I’m expecting, but it’s green and I haven’t worn a dress in forever so I put it on anyways. Dresses make me feel girlie and fancy and young and I haven’t felt like any of those things in a while.
Lately I’m thinking all the time about how last year, Christmas seemed like a marker that represented relief for me and more safety for Sprout. Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed, I remind myself of this every time I set Avalon down for nap time, but on December 12th of last year I was 12 weeks pregnant, which made me breathe a huge sigh or relief since clearly the hard part was over.
I remember walking around shops and going through the toy section with real purpose, running my hands carefully along small, soft pajamas made from bamboo, thinking how someday I would kiss a baby whose skin was even softer; a baby that would be mine.
I’ve been thinking a lot about God lately. How we fight over who and what “he” is and what we think he wants us to be. I used to think about everything being a part of God’s plan, and that brought me comfort, but then how do you accept that God intended for such tragic things to happen to us? My mom says he didn’t.
The sky has been so clear and cold lately and for a month when I would go out to the trash or the car at night I wouldn’t even really look up at it. It was like I couldn’t make eye contact with God because I was mad, but I knew he was right. Now I look up. There is so much darkness and so much light up there. I guess it’s kind of like it is down here. It kind of gives me this rush of joy, similar to the one I get when the crescendo of a song begins.
I feel like during Christmases before I was maybe forcing it. Not when I was a kid, of course. Kids don’t know how to be fake yet. But this year, even though not all things are ideal, I feel I am having one of the best Christmases ever. Every morning we turn on the tree. I put Avalon down on a quilt with some toys and turn on the train that drives around the tree. In the evening we walk around the neighborhood and listen to Christmas music on my phone or I sing Jingle Bells and look at the sky, or the lights that come on as we head home after sunset. I feel overcome by Christmas, like I don’t even have to try to love it, like I felt when I first saw Avalon, and then I think that must have been how Mary felt on the very first Christmas.