Why the Wait? – Advent 5

8:30 am – Today we make ginger bread cookies.

‘Bake with your children,’ they said. ‘It will be fun,’ they said.

We roll and stamp. Scoop to sheets. Cook, cool, decorate. You’ve never seen so many sprinkles in your whole life. Like bird seed at a wedding. I probably have sprinkles in my underwear. Then every time I turn my back throughout the day some small person has climbed the counters and stuffed his mouth with the dense cinnamon brown goodies. A little dripping of icing running down his chin. Eyes wide and guilty.

The best things in life with kids come at a price. The price is Sanity. This time it was worth it. This time the crazy and the charm were balanced.

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But 10 hours later… the injustices of this day have mounted. I am not smiling at their little chaoses. They are not smiling at my firm rules. I am not smiling at the broken cookies. They are not smiling at the spaghetti dinner. I am not smiling at their bedtime antics. They are not smiling at my limited capacity for bedtime book reading.

7:20pm

Me: (Cradling the First Boy in my lap… wondering when he became all elbows and knees. He is spilling over the sides of me. His weight presses me into the shape I am: Mama)… “I’m sorry I lost my temper with you,” I confess my sins into the silky coarseness of his hair. Cut like a little man’s.

Eames: (Reaching up behind and over his head to pat both my cheeks… as if he will throw me back into bounds in this cosmic soccer game…) “It’s ok. I was angry to you and more angry to you and more angry to you again! And then you were angry back to me. Cause sometimes it happens when we’re angry to each other.”

Sometimes it happens when we’re angry to each other…

I think this is why we have been given The Waiting Time…

I think this is why this Earth Space matters so much…

I think this is why we’re here, waiting together… Because we have to press into each other and roll out the lumps. Like a rolling pin on ginger bread. We have to collide. And confess. And commune. We press hard. We break stuff. The breaking of the bread of life is something we do every day between us. We pull on the fabric of this life so hard we tear big old Sunday-panty-hose holes in it. Broken tempers. Broken hearts. Then… right there in the middle of the brokenness, God willing, we see what we’ve done. If we do, when we do, we sit down around the mess and it becomes the communion table. And all our sins become a chance to show each other mercy. And it rolls the broken spots right out of us.

 

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My boy. So recently my baby. He and I, we are rolling the lumps right out of each other.

I humble myself and confess my wrongs to him every day. When he leaves this house, he will not be perfect, but he will know he is in good company. We are not All Better people. We are not always right. We can never be that one thing. But we can always be humble. And it heals stuff.

It’s what we do while we’re here. I think it’s a huge Why of the Waiting.

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