It's Lent, and my posts in these past few days are distinctly Lenten posts. Today, however, I can't find it within myself to write another post about crosses, or struggles, or the nitty gritty implications of the Christian walk. Today, this day, this lovely day, is my Christopher Luke's first birthday.
I love this baby, this would-be-a-toddler-if-he-decided-to-walk Little Guy. I love his pure joy at waking up in the morning, and his utter delight at peering over the edge of his pack-n-play to discover - again - his still sleeping parents. I love his giggles games, his outright chortles over peek-a-boo, and his screaming laughter over "chase." Everything is new for him. It blows his mind that he can move wooden beads along a maze of wires. He thinks it's hilarious when the toy that disappeared behind my back reappears on the other side. He wants to drop the same toy, or book, or rag on the floor over and over again because he just cannot believe that it falls down every. single. time.
I am utterly charmed just watching him putter around the living room, investigating every loose piece of paper sticking out from a shelf, experimenting with what happens when you push on the books on the shelf, discovering all over again a fascinating toy, being suddenly distracted by a more fascinating piece of shiny junk, chewing thoughtfully on a wooden block. My heart nearly explodes with delighted satisfaction at the joy of seeing him crawl efficiently off to inspect the hallway and the other rooms of the apartment for any toys or random objects left within reach. He is most endlessly fascinating when he is ignoring me.
I love doing life with him, as frustrating as it is. He sits on the edge of the sink while I wash dishes - his back against the microwave, his feet dangling into the rinse sink - experimenting with the physics of the clean dishes that I stack on his side of the sink, and dabbing his feet in the running water when I rinse those dishes. Laundry day is a personal favorite of his; there are so many ways for him to help, from dropping dirty socks into drawers of clean clothing, to adding folded t-shirts back into the basket of unfolded laundry. When I go grocery shopping with him, he leaves a trail of smiles in the wake of his adorableness.
This child, this squeezable, kissable, beautiful, crazy-making child is bursting with Life. This is the promise; this is why we go through Lent. Life abundant is the only things that makes the cross worthwhile. Suffering in and of itself is pointless. Death left to its own devices is ignoble. Sacrifice without hope is foolish. Only in the Resurrection looming large beyond them do they gain significance, nobility, and wisdom. We embrace Lent not because we love Lent, but because we have to get through Lent to come to Easter.