For some reason, I keep thinking about that children's fable, The Magic Thread. Have you heard it? It's about a young boy who is always very impatient to get on to the next thing in life. He wanders into the woods one day and an old woman gives him a ball with a magic thread coming out of it. The thread is his life and if he pulls on it, time will pass more quickly, if he never pulls it, time will pass normally. He makes his first pull when he wants to finish a boring day at school, then he pulls it to finish school all together, then he pulls it so he can hurry and get married, and on and on, until he has pulled out his entire life, with no memory of it. When he is old and gray, the old woman visits him again and he wishes that he could give the ball back to her and live life all over again, experiencing everything, the good and the bad, the boring and the exciting.
My mom used to read me that fable from The Book of Virtues. For a season, we'd read a different short story from that book almost every night, and that one alway stuck out to me. Probably because I can be pretty impatient and want the boring parts of life to hurry along, just like the little boy in the story. But lately, I keep wishing for a ball that instead of helping me rush through life, it would let me put the thread of my life back into the ball, to relive moments and memories that have gone by all to fast - even without me ever tugging the magic thread.
November flew by; I feel like I blinked and it was gone. I'm hoping December will move a little more slowly. This is our first Christmas with Eli and I want to soak up every minute with him. And since we're finally a "family," rather than a "couple," this Christmas also has me thinking a lot about what traditions Mike and I want to start with our family. I started searching the webby yesterday and realized there are waaaay too many awesome ideas and options out there. I quickly got overwhelmed and started feeling like I couldn't do any of them because I am already behind - and it's only December 2nd!
I know Eli won't remember this Christmas, but I still want to make it special. Something about being able to say, "We've been doing this ever since you were born!" sounds good to me, I suppose. But as I think of the magic thread fable, I'm reminded not to get too caught up in the pomp, circumstance and even all the wonderful traditions and observances that help make Advent so meaningful, or I'll be running around in a tizzy and the time will pass so quickly I won't have any memory of where it went.
So I'm choosing a new tactic - rather than gather every single awesome idea I find on Pinterest and Feedly and try to (sort of) implement them - I'm only picking two or three things that we'll do as a family this year and I'm bookmarking all the rest. Then next year we can add one or two more, building on what worked and what didn't. It takes the pressure off a bit and gives me time to just be: present in the moment with my son who is growing too fast. Hopefully this way, I won't feel the need to slow the thread down so much (or shove it back in the ball all together), but instead enjoy the magic of the thread as it passes as it should.