Tomorrow Lucas will be two years old.
It is hard to believe.
Over the past few weeks I've been reflecting a lot about this time two years ago, the Advent season. Preparing for the birth of Jesus. Preparing for the birth of Lucas.
When Lucas turned one, I didn't do much reflecting. Of course I was excited about his birthday, but I felt like I was the one who deserved a party. A cake. Presents. Heck, even a medal or something. I had done it. I had survived my first year of motherhood. Lucas was happy and healthy. I was happy and healthy. Abel and I, our marriage, it was happy and healthy. What an accomplishment! Yes, it was a group effort for the three of us.
But come on. Really, it was me.
Happy Lucas's First Birthday to Mama--that's what I wanted the cake to say. That's what I wanted the cards to say.
Now, as we approach his second birthday I'm feeling less like the occasion is a personal victory celebration and more like the occasion is a true celebration for and of Lucas. (I'm sure it helps that this year he will be excited about the cake and the presents and the singing of Happy Birthday.)
And, I've been reflecting.
Two years ago, I think truly, for the first time, I understood Advent. The waiting. The hoping. The anticipation.
Two years ago in church we were reading the Gospel of Luke. It gave me a personal thrill whenever I heard "A reading from the Gospel of St. Luke" from the pulpit. We had already chosen the name Lucas and so I felt a special connection to St. Luke.
I'll never forget when we got to the reading about Mary going to see her cousin Elizabeth: the baby John "leapt" in her womb.
Before being pregnant with Lucas I didn't really understand that verse. How can a baby leap in the womb? What an exaggeration, I thought.
But two years ago, I understood. For indeed Lucas had lept in my womb! And now he leaps into my arms!
What a gift Lucas is to me. To us. To all who know and love him. I look forward to sharing Advent with him for the many years ahead of us. To sharing my own stories of the waiting, hoping, and anticipation of his birth during the season of Advent.
What a gift!