My guest blogger today is my older daughter who recently made me a grandfather:
The mornings are my favorite time with our new baby girl. She starts to stir before it’s light out, but politely lies awake cooing while I snooze just a few minutes longer. The dog, on the other hand, is more demanding. He wants his trip outside and two cups of food. Stat.
When I finally go over to pick up Gwen she greets me with a wide-eyed grin. I take her back to bed with me and feed her. She always tricks me by falling asleep for a few minutes when she’s finished, but I relish those delicious little breaths on my neck as I burp her.
We head downstairs and I put her in her Snugabunny. I never knew what that was until I became a mom. I get the coffee pot going, grateful that I can indulge now in as much caffeine as I want (and I need it after some long nights). I turn on the Christmas tree lights and we sit together while Gwen eventually slips into her first nap by 8 a.m.
It sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? This slow kind of morning? Truthfully, it’s been difficult for me to appreciate it. I’m used to getting going in the morning. Taking my shower, blow drying my hair, picking out my clothes. Now it’s all about her.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am to have this time at home with her. But, the days are long and short at the same time. The minutes tick on by and yet the sun seems to creep away far too early. We go on walks, trekking around the neighborhood on a mission to breathe crisp air and feel – if only for a few moments – like we’re a part of the bustling world around us.
But we’re not busy. We’re not running around. I haven’t entered a store once to Christmas shop this year. Instead we are hunkered down, slowed down, buckled down into this new “routine” with a baby. A friend came over a few weeks after Gwen was born and asked what I “do all day.” Soothe, shush, swaddle, smile… not much I guess except attend to her every need.
This Advent season has forced me into a spiritual rhythm I’ve never had before. Pastors like me usually have a million things to do at this time of year. But during this particular Advent season, as these last days of maternity leave trickle on by, I have had to force myself to be present to this child. To the monotonous beauty of it. To wait and watch and listen on baby time.
In the sometimes overwhelming simpleness of our days together there’s nothing else to do but allow the new love I have for my daughter to envelope me. It’s a painful kind of love that makes my heart ache and causes my throat to choke up. It reminds me that this is the kind of love God has for me, too.
I’ll always be grateful for these slow Advent days. This time is a gift. This baby is a gift. And as I find myself hushed in quiet during nap time, soaking in the sight of my child, I also remember the child who has come, and is coming, and will come again.