Advent 2016: "Tie your Shoe!"

The last couple weeks have been rough.

I miss Yancey who's away for the YEAR (!!)  in paramedic school. The rain around here has been apocalyptic. Even the dog thinks so. I haven't had any gas in the tank for Christmas decorations, doing favors for friends, cooking (what's that?), or cleaning out my storage room which is now certified as a HAZMAT area. The other morning at breakfast, Loretta asked, "Mom, when are we going to get in the Christmas spirit?" Good question, sweetheart.

This morning was Loretta's first basketball game. She's recovering from toe surgery, but she bravely said she wanted to go anyway and just sit on the bench if she had to. (She is the consummate group participant. Wonder where she gets that.) She and her kick-ass fourth grade girls team won by a few points, and (competitive big brother baller) Wyatt gave this ringing endorsement: "That was watchable!"

Each point was like Mardi Gras. Parents and grandparents erupting with disproportionate glee for every completed pass, rebound, or making it down the court in once piece. At one point, one of Loretta's teammates had 40 adults calling to her, "Tie your shoe!"

I loved every minute of it. What if we took care of each other like that? What if we were paying attention to all those untied shoes, all the celebrations and disappointments, all the hold-your-breath-at-the-freethrow-line moments?

In spite of the rain, darkness, and loneliness of the last few weeks, I am learning to ask, every morning, "How will the miracle happen today?" There are lots of people making sure my shoes are tied--my parents, my in-laws, Emily (always), the Westons and the Imbachs, Elie and Lisa, Kiana (world's best babysitter who gives neck massages), justice-loving friends at church, my childrens' coaches and teachers, Laura T., neighbors.  Because of them, I'm still in the game. Thank you.