What a difference a year makes!
This time last year my family was up north and we were sitting around in our little house, celebrating Christmas and waiting for a long anticipated child. She, like a little child many years ago, was much anticipated and waited for. And who we knew would change our world.
And has she ever!
We may be a little more ragged and a little more worse for the wear some days - but Baby Girl has wrapped us up in her. She is joy and wonder and light and we truly are forever changed.
So tonight, while I write, from the comfort of a warm bed, I think of another mother - my homegirl Mary. She is the constant from all of my catholic upbringing. She is the Auntie I pray to when I can't sleep. And now she is the model of true hero - scared and vulnerable and given wholly unto a child. And somehow, I understand a little more what that means. To give yourself over to someone so small. To stand vulnerably in front of this person, this spirit you are supposed to mold and guide - who all along, you suspect is likely molding and guiding you more than you are her.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for mother Mary back then - talk about pressure! Because in relative comfort and safety I feel the pressure of bringing up this child in front of me in this big scary world we live in now. I worry about this world I've brought her into. How I can teach her to be kind and loving. How she, in her own small ways, can change this world we live in for the better. How I can help her to see, she too, can be the light.
And when it all seems like too much - this great responsibility - I hum the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song "Breath of Heaven" and think of Warrior Mary out there in the darkness - bringing us great light!
Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Merry Christmas Eve my friends - especially to my fellow Warrior Mamas out there, who come in every shape and size and situation - you bring the light!