Advent Donkey

Becoming a mother gave me a whole new perspective on the season of Advent.  I shared with Mary the experienced interflow of fear and excitement as I waited in anticipation for my baby to enter this world.  And now, like Mary, I am a mother hopefully waiting to see what impact my son will have on this life.

Of course, I do not pretend to compare my child to the Christmas baby in a manger.  But I believe that I share in Mary’s miracle as I grow and love and mother my child.
As I contemplate the beginning of this Advent season, I know that this Christmas is going to be a tough one for me.  It will be the first Christmas spent away from my parents and sisters.  A lifetime’s worth of traditions will be missing as I try to find the joy in Christmas somewhere else.
It is also my son’s first Christmas, and with that comes all sorts of expectations and challenges.  He will never remember this December, yet I so desperately want it to be perfect for him.  I am still attempting to create perfect memories regardless if he will grasp them or not.  Someday the memories will be passed on to him and I therefore aiming at perfection.
How much of a contradiction am I?
How can I possibly hope to help my son experience Christmas for the first time when my mind is so far away from that first Christmas?  How can I claim to understand anything about advent when I am concerned with budgets and holiday shopping and missing traditions and reaching for an unattainable perfection?  Instead of hopeful anticipation and joy I am creating pain and hurt and loneliness.
I am ruining Christmas.
Maybe, like Mary, I can learn from my child.  Maybe I just need to humble myself to see.
To see that I can be happy as long as Dan and Cameron and I are together.
To see that you can’t measure the worth of this holiday with money and gifts.
To see that there is hope in the anticipation, beauty in the newness, and joy in the love.
To see that nativity donkeys are delicious.
Learning about the Nativity
Photos taken Sunday, November 7, 2010
8 months, 1 day old
Laura (@LauraORourke) lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A wife to Dan and a mother to Cameron, she spends her free time blogging, reading, and doing photography. Her blog finds it’s home at  You can find find her book reviews here and her photography here.

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