Friday, December 3, 2010

Mary on my mind.

Henry's Christmas books are in a basket on our coffee table.

We have a nice variety: 
 board books about Santa and Christmas traditions,
long story books about the importance of family during the holiday season,
a beautifully illustrated book about the Christmas star,
and of course, several books about the nativity and the birth of baby Jesus.

Henry loves babies so he is naturally drawn to the nativity story.

We talk about how baby Jesus was in his mama's belly just like Liza was in my belly.
Mary was his mama and Joseph was his dada but he was God's son.

I explain the story of Christmas in terms that Henry understands.
He nods and says "yeah, a baby".

We finish reading the book on hand and move on to Henry's next whim.  

But, I am always left with Mary on my mind.

Was Joseph really the only person there or did he ask the innkeeper to find a midwife to help Mary?
Did that long donkey ride turn Jesus towards her back or was he in optimal position for birth?
Had Mary attended other births and therefore knew what to expect during childbirth?
Was her labor and delivery short and intense or long and drawn out?
Was transition as painful for Mary as it was for me?

Did Jesus latch on her breast perfectly the first time?
 Did she experience breastfeeding issues and have to consult women in her community for support and help?

Did Mary use diapers, elimination communication or a combination of both?

Did she wear Jesus as an infant and toddler?

Mary was a mother.
Like me.

And, Jesus was her baby.

It's easy for me to understand.


Jude and Alisha said...

I LOVE THIS POST! (though, you could probably could have guessed that...)

Being a mom has really helped me identify with Mary, too.

It wasn't until I was pregnant last year during Christmas time that I started to think of Mary's long journey while pregnant and the pain of her labor. I think we sometimes gloss over the realities of child birth in the Nativity story and your post helps bring such things "back home."

Jude and Alisha said...

*you probably could have...
I was so excited, I didn't proof.

Anonymous said...

If I remember my obscure facts correctly, swaddling in ancient times meant swaddling naked for a LONG time. Didn't make sense to me when I first heard (or read) about it, doesn't make sense now.
I'm awed that you take the time to explain baby Jesus to Henry. Thank you.


childsplay said...

very sweet post - am I more impressed with the content or your find of all the pics of a nursing Mary???

Laura said...

Lizbeth, google images "Maria Lactans".

I "like" on facebook Historical Images of Breastfeeding and it inspired me.

TheSandersFamily said...

I just LOVE these images as well. There was an article in the North MS Daily Journal (Tupelo) about breastfeeding and the intro to it spoke about Mary breastfeeding Jesus. So all this has been on my mind as well. Just beautiful!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

So beautiful Laura!! I've been thinking about her a lot lately, about how she was not much further along than I am right now at this time of year. And then I think funny things too-like what did they do with the placenta and how did they find something to cut the cord???

What a beautiful example of a true, Christian mother.

Laura said...

Kaitlyn, I wondered about the cord as well. But then I realized that if Joseph was a carpenter, he would surely have a sharp knife for the journey to Bethlehem.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

Of course! That makes perfect sense!

Anonymous said...

Mary's been on my mind since I was about 4 months pregnant with James. I kept going back to the Hail Mary when I'd lay in bed at night. I think I really connected to "fruit of the womb" and being blessed to be having a baby. And even now when I sing to James at night it's "What Child Is This?" Ally got Beatles songs. When I talk to Ally about the nativity and Christmas it always makes me think about the actual birth of Jesus. I love this post!