My foot rests on the brake more than the gas, my wipers struggle to find the right speed for dealing with incessant drizzle, and brake lights shine red for miles.
Please, for the love, stop kicking my seat. I say it through clenched teeth, trying to keep from joining my two year old in his wailing, foot-kicking tantrum. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Quiet strains of peace on earth goodwill toward men come from the slightly-warbled back speaker.
Waxing poetic about loving the least of these is all well-and-good, but what about the other kind of days? When you sit in traffic, and your five year old stomps her foot and sasses, while the two year old screams and kicks the back of your seat the entire way? When peace of earth feels like a distant dream, and the only kind of hopeful expectation you have is for bedtime?
As life barrels towards Christmas at astonishing speed, I kick myself for already falling three days behind on my advent reading on the fifth day of December. I congratulate myself on buying a pre-made Christmas countdown calendar, only to unwrap it and realize you’re supposed to sew-the-dang-thing-together yourself. Now, it lays in pieces strewn across our dining table, alongside two boys working on their chemistry projects, while Caden runs back and forth from the cupboard and refrigerator requesting snacks.
Sometimes life is just life, and pouring yourself out happens just as quickly in tiny drops as a big torrent. Sometimes loving the least of these looks a lot like motherhood. Like driving kids to school, and wiping snotty noses, and making macaroni and cheese for dinner one more time (I told you, I’m hopeless without Adam).
I fold more laundry, bending to pick up cards and blocks strewn across the living room floor. I find more matchless socks, pairing Ariel with Cinderella because at some point, what does it even matter? Hope feels far flung and joy distant, lost perhaps in the monotony of motherhood and life. And I begin thinking that maybe I’m missing something besides just my Christmas tree and stockings, and perhaps it can be found at Target right next to the tins of Christmas cookies.
But joy culminates in a season of longing and loss and hard laboring. And I remember the way a teenager labored unseen to birth a Savior King. And we too labor unseen, waiting for Christmas and His coming and the new beginning we all need.