Maternity leave is a weird time to start something new (for obvious reasons). So is the month of December, with all her festivity and glow. But there comes a point when you realize that, actually, there is no good time, and if you don’t step into the thing now, you might not ever.
Amelia came to us in the early hours of September 17th–which was also her due date, landing her a place among the supposed five percent of babies born on their due dates, according to Ruth Ann at the hospital. “Punctual like her mama,” I projected. The odd thing is that, despite her birthday being unexpectedly predictable, my daughter quickly became the most mysterious part of my life.
After nine months and still so suddenly, my soul felt wobbly with the weight of my care and all that I could not control. I was, at once, who I’d always been and someone I was still discovering. I longed to know I wasn’t wrecking her with my learning curve and prayed that I would not see my child as a project to be completed or a problem to be solved, but rather, a gift.
For His reasons, God chose a particular time to come to us in the particular form of a baby. When I read the account in Luke 1, my thoughts settle on Mary: her vulnerability, her obedience, her body. How God didn’t find her questioning the mystery to be offensive.
I wonder about Mary when Jesus was at His tiniest.
Did she give Him any nicknames?
Did she pace the living room floor, bobbing and swaying until her back ached?
Did she cry when He cried and cry when He smiled?
Did she wish He would take longer naps?
Did she ever lament at 4am that God did not give Joseph the ability to breastfeed, too?
Did she feel like her heart was cut open and all the parts rearranged?
This is a season of mystery. And as I look down into my daughter’s crib and through the slats of the manger, I think that maybe this is just what He intended.