A couple of nights ago, I lay on the floor of my four-year old’s bedroom, stack of books read, lights already out.
“Mama, can we sing a song together?” He asked, requesting to sing one of the songs from his preschool’s Christmas program. As we began singing the yuletide chorus, we hadn’t made it through a single line before the little conductor stopped me.
“Mama, no, no, no, no,” he said. “It’s star-A wonder, not star-OF wonder.” I mean, I may love me some little baby Jesus (along with some rousing choruses of “We Three Kings”), but my recollections of how to pronounce that magical star are no match for the resident preschooler.
So, we continued to sing the song the correct way – him in his bunk, me on the floor, a chorus of sound echoing off the darkened walls of his bedroom. And a couple of nights later, this same little star-a wonder rocked it in his school’s annual Christmas play when he delivered the four lines he’s been practicing for the past two months:
I see a million stars, gleaming high each night,
But all those stars and many more could never be as bright,
As the star God shone in heaven, when he cared enough to say,
“I send my very, very best to you on Christmas Day!”
He wasn’t actually wearing the five-pointed gold lame star (pictured above) when he delivered his lines, but instead a ratty old Spider-Man sweatshirt and a dirty pair of Batman sweatpants – entirely because his mama neglected to realize that he wasn’t actually going to be decked in costume for all of the show. Rookie move, another parent said to me afterwards, chuckling as we glanced around the classroom at every other child dressed to the holiday red and green nines.
I can’t help but remind myself, and maybe you too, how this same star of wonder shines now, even if the darkness sometimes feels overwhelming. Even if the tears fall. Even if we don’t yet know how the story ends.
Even if, even if, even if…
After all, Advent is all about camping out in the land of hope, fixing our eyes toward the night sky for that one bright and boisterous star.
Advent is all about singing the songs we’ve sung since our youth, those haunting melodies that somehow seem to mean more when the twinkle of Christmas lights sparkle in the background. Because, really, Advent is all about sitting back and waiting for the surprise to come – for the surprises of Christmas morning and preschool plays and melodious bedtime rituals to spark our hearts with joy, even if there is grief in the waiting.
Come what may, I’m fixing my eyes toward hope, toward that single, shiny, heaven-pointing star.
So tell me, is it the same for you?