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Breathing through Advent

Are you crazy yet? They don’t call this time of the year the holi-daze for nothing. But for us Waldorf moms the challenge is to create the light inside and really keep it burning. I hear you collapsing already.

This wonderful Advent season is double-edged for me.  Because we so want to bring forth the true meaning and significance of this time for the children, we create that web of magic, building atmosphere and light, making handmade gifts, baking Christmas treats and on top of it, trying to deal with our daily challenges, we can become so overwhelmed! Despite the difficulty, I do find that this festival is a grounding for me.  As I lay the stones and, this week, the plants on my festival table, I am reminded of what I am trying to bring for the kids.

It’s getting harder as the kids get older and already they are giving me knowing looks, baiting me with statements that might provoke a confession: “Yes, there is no angel! It’s me! Every night–or when I remember and then panic–I snatch stones and leaves and stuff to put on the table. It’s me! There’s no magic!!” There are moments when I do want to yell this out, but I think my angel has both hands firmly on my mouth on the days I am tired enough to spill the beans. So far, I am able to smile through them.  When I’m in better control of my responses, I ask them right back, “Is that what you think?”, and somehow that has ended every inquisition, thus far. Even if it’s what they think, they probably still don’t want to know.

I’ve already told them that even if it’s my hand that sometimes puts the stone, I am still guided and reminded by the angels. And I know I speak the truth. There are times I am just so weary from everything that I forget, but I am always nudged and pushed forward to keep building that table, to complete the picture of humanity and the meaning of Christmas on our tiny tabelau. I struggle with it, but I know that is part of the season–the inner struggle to bring forth what has been shrouded for generations. As I struggle with my own demons–anxieties, fears, challenges–I know that I am working for that light as well, not just for me but for my boys, who have come to love Advent as much as I do.

Breathe, moms. You know you’re awesome.

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