09 December 2012

cat got your tongue

from the philadelphia museum of art

is it just a southern colloquialism to ask the rhetorical question, "cat got your tongue?" i am not sure the origin or the meaning, but i have felt like that as of late. just kind of drowned out by all the many voices around me-some real like those of my boisterous boys. some not real like the self defeating voice of my inner enemy. some cheerful like those of my beloved friends. some suffocating. i will leave it at that. but all these voices have me pausing to ponder. consider. wonder. wander. o, and what a time to do that. advent. 

this morning i realized my anger frustration at all the carols that sing of jesus as a baby. i wanted to shout, "the baby grew up!" i would rather think on those things. the baby left that chaotic barn. i would rather hear "emmanuel". that is kind of how i am feeling. a little like i hope those mayans got it right. life is such a tricky awe-inspiring mess, a roller coaster of highs and lows, and i am feeling rather queasy.

yesterday i sat with a friend whose brain is bleeding and her heart is quite literally broken. she is a walking time bomb, but aren't we all? a couple of weeks ago news came across the wire that my darling friend back in nashville, a young mother and compassionate doctor was diagnosed with lymphoma. and then there are the little punches to the gut like a cousin whose wife up and left him-with the children. i want to take a time out. 

then my oldest reminds me, "mom, 'adventus'!" advent. i haven't been adventing around here. our little daily homemade advent calendars have yet to be explored. they sit quietly waiting. my heart is cold and distracted. the tree with its trimmings were decorated by the 6 and 9 year old. christmas music makes me feel irritable. then the firstborn asks, "will you help me with my paper? i am supposed to write on what it means to be a christian." i ask him what he's written so far. he reads to me about: thankfulness, generosity, following, learning, teaching. the cat's got my tongue. here my son is reminding me, his mother, what it means to advent.

i help him wordsmith his paragraphs. his words, my add ons. his thoughts, my observations. his remembrance, my memory of bible citations. once he's done, we read his paper together. sitting close. editing. and it hit me. advent. he interrupts my thoughts, "you know what 'advent' means?" the answer i give is: expectation. he corrects, "waiting on something that is long expected." he is such a stickler.

my heart began to feel the coming. he has reminded me. "mom, i was so overwhelmed by this paper. thank you for helping me"*. i nonchalantly comment, "i don't know how to do a lot of things, but i know how to write." he adds, "you know how to do lots of stuff." then i felt a little like mary, jesus' mother when luke wrote, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."


*as a side note, that comment from my first born who RARELY asks me to help with anything AND in turn paid me a huge-for-him compliment is both a christmas miracle as well as the perfect gift tied up in a double-faced satin ribbon.

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