Thursday, December 18, 2014


Jasper has one of those paper chain Advent calendars hanging from our dining room wall. Each ring has a Bible story about salvation and we rip one off each night before running upstairs for bedtime stories.

We are, of course, a few rings behind. And he has been requesting the Crossing the Red Sea story for the last few nights. I want the water one again. With grown up Moses.

When I read this story to him, I can feel the Israelites' hearts pounding as they look back toward Egypt. Is this crazy? Will we every get to the other side? Will we drown trying to cross into something new? I can hear the water rushing and feel the mist on my face. Jasper leans into me and points at the angry men in chariots closing in quickly.

And then there is dancing. They sing and shout and play their instruments. They don't have it all figured out just yet and there is plenty of wilderness still to come. But, for a day, there is a timbrel.

I guess that's where we are, too. We have made it through the hardest 10 months of our lives. I have ached and leaked and cried and worried and yelled and given up on the general effectiveness of eye makeup. All this sprinting and flexing and spinning plates has required great vulnerability and humor, deep commitment and cost. We are weary.

But we have made it through 2014! We still love each other and are usually pretty nice to each other, too. And, while part of me would rather dig out a granola bar and weep by myself on the shore for a bit, I have found my timbrel and I am dancing lately. We don't have it all figured out just yet and there's plenty of wilderness to come. But, for now, there is a timbrel.

I have written some about Jasper's transition to Big Brotherhood here at tangled up. It has been a struggle, but not in uncommon ways. It has been exhausting, but not dysfunctional. But this year has been rather heavy laden…until last week when we all came into our skin a bit more.

Especially Jasper.

I was triple tasking in the kitchen this morning when he walked in with his hands behind his back. Mommy, you're doing such a good job holding Solveig and making my breakfast. I want to give you this award. Keep up the good work. He handed me a foam number eight covered in stickers. My beautiful boy was beaming with pride. Then he took his high morale into our bedroom where he congratulated Matt on getting dressed while entertaining Tove.

I listened from the kitchen and danced. I danced because coffee was almost ready and because my moves were making Solveig laugh. But I mostly danced because my son is finding an inner stability and it's waking him up to the world. He's noticing new things with patience and awe. He's really affectionate and quick to tell jokes instead of getting huffy. He's taking the longview more often than your average preschooler. He's giving out awards on Thursday mornings.

We don't have it all figured out just yet and there's plenty of wilderness to come, but there is also much to celebrate. And so these days I keep my timbrel at the top of my backpack. I am ready to dance - in gratitude for the journey and in the face of things to come.