I’ve told you this before. How this is my year of deja-vu.
I felt it again when I pushed those red snowboots onto her tiny feet. The boots look barely worn, but I know they are nearly a decade old. I remember how my oldest, my other daughter, wore them on Chicago’s snowy sidewalks.
Jonathan and I have goofy grins as we watch our baby tumble in snow for the first time. We’ve worn these smiles before. I know we have. Strangely, they feel brand new.
I thought it would be different this time. This fourth baby. This second daughter. And it is.
But not in the way I thought. I assumed it would be recognizable. Known. Like a comfortable coat we’ve worn before. Instead, it feels surprising. There is the shock of newness. We’ve lived it before, but this is no second-hand delight.
It is as if an echo had something new to say, something new to reveal, with each repetition.
At Advent, I am accustomed to seeing the baby in the crèche as the already-was. The one who came but not the one I am waiting for. I look toward King Jesus and wonder how long, but what if that baby is new every year?
I’ve heard this before. How we must make room in our hearts, in our communities, for him to be born again. I always thought it sentimental.
I’m realizing today that doesn’t make it untrue.
What if he could be born again and again to us, shocking and miraculous every time?
What if Christmas could bring us the yearly return of a joy that is always new?