“Sometimes, wrestling with wait looks a lot like believing in spite of and sometimes, it looks like pushing back with every ounce of strength you have within your bones.” Elora Ramirez, Story Sessions (do it)
Advent has always been difficult to me. There’s so much rush, and I’m supposed to be waiting? There’s no time! I have parties to attend and throw, gifts to choose or make, and if I manage to finish all of that early, I’d like to send cards (purposely sent – if at all – after the first day of Christmas so they can be holiday cards without anyone getting fussy, because I just don’t want to hear it). Oh, and there’s also those two jobs where it’s dead week and finals week, so the first two weeks of December are the busiest of the term.
This year, I get to add being sick for a week to the mix. Good times.
I also have temper issues with waiting. I’ve never waited on a child of my own to come into the world, but I’ve waited beside friends, and even from the outside, it’s frustrating as hell. It’s frustrating in the last few weeks of the perfect pregnancy, when she’s miserable and exhausted, and if one more asshole asks her, “Wow! You haven’t had the baby yet?!” or remarks on how huge she is, she might have no other choice but to calmly and rationally stab them in the neck. It’s agonizing to swim through the sea of paperwork required for adoption, especially when after doing all that paperwork, there are still delays and Facebook posts that taunt her with ten thousand pictures of everyone else preparing for Christmas with their little people for whom it is still new. It’s heartbreaking to have the long-awaited child within her grasp, only to lose him or her to miscarriage or an inconveniently changed heart.
But these are not my stories. I don’t know the wait for a child from any perspective other than outside.
My waiting is of a different sort.
My waiting is for a set of larger boots to keep mine company by the front door. It’s for lazy Saturday mornings where we pretend that we’re out of town but we really just sleep in and make waffles way too close to noon to call it brunch. It’s for a forever plus one. It’s for a hand held, a back had, and names that sound like poetry when spoken by the other who was meant to speak them the most.
It’s a waiting that might never be realized for a husband who might not actually exist.
It’s a waiting that’s more often a fight than an anticipation.
My waiting is about pushing back when might-not seeps into my thoughts with a louder, stronger Might. It’s about remembering that the importance of desire is not diminished by not yet having it. It’s believing that there are far more things that are or will be than I can see on my clearest day.
It’s no mistake that in Spanish, “to wait” and “to hope” are the same word.
So I wait. And I hope. And maybe this year, they’ll become the same thing in my soul. Maybe this year, espero.