Every day after their naps I carry my one year old twins down the stairs, one on each hip, like a hulking maternal weight-lifter. Pausing in the kitchen, I lean them over the counter one at a time to grab their matching sippy cups and then hurry toward the living room hoping to make it there before my arms give-out. Still holding them as they grip on to my shirt and cling to their precious juice, we all slide slowly to the floor where I sit cross-legged in front of the couch, one boy on each leg.Here they alternate between snuggling and gulping, occasionally working out a tenuous trade of cups, a treaty composed entirely of gestures and grunts. There’s an invisible, but mutually agreed-upon line of separation that runs down the middle of me - if one crosses into the other one's territory all hell breaks loose. This causes me to marvel at their possessiveness, their indignation at having to share me as though they’re not both being held.
Later, at the end of a long day, just before my husband gets home or after dinner when the dishes are done and the floor swept, I make my way out into the living room. Once there, I lay down and stretch out on my back on the floor.
I hardly hit the dusty, old carpet before the twins come running and pile on me like puppies, slobbery and sweet with their toothy, wet smiles. Their top-heavy little bodies tip and flip and roll on and off and around me and my only care is to make sure no one gets hurt.
Sometimes, through great effort, Isaiah rights himself and circles out and away from me. He toddles along on stocky legs and padded baby feet, grinning his gap-toothed smile as he looks back over his shoulder, then turns, running, and dives back into me.
When I’m on the floor, I’m theirs - my body is theirs, my time is theirs and they claim their right to me fully. I come and lay down among them because I know they will be drawn to me and my desire is to be with them.
It occurs to me in this season of Advent that I can think of no better image for the Incarnation.
In my stooping and bowing, my sliding down and laying out I am mirroring God to these boys; God who comes to dwell among us, laying down, stretching out in the middle of our dusty, dirty world, hoping we will be drawn to him. God who holds us, who delights in us and marvels over our petty arguments, our human desire to part and parcel him out as though we are not all being held.
This post is linked with Playdates with God.