In so many ways, the resurrection took on new meaning for me this year.
Our darling daughter woke up at 6am on Easter Sunday. I knew the Mass times at the closest Catholic church and was confident I could feed her and that we could make it to the 6:45am Mass – on time – a thing that is not-so-consistent in this world of newborn-dictates-when-we-go-anywhere. Rather than put her in her Easter dress, she got strapped in the carseat still in her pajamas. Mom and Dad got dressed and out the door we went.
We pulled in the parking lot, found a spot, and made our way to the cry room (a thing that my husband reminds me I once said I’d never do). We sat down and had only missed the opening prayer. Normally being late to Mass is a thing I never do, especially when we live so close to the church, but that day, only missing the opening prayer was a huge victory. We sat through the readings, trying to take it all in. If I’m being honest, though, I was quite distracted by the immense cuteness of the sleeping baby in front of me. She’d wiggle and I’d just stare, entranced by this new life that God has gifted us with.
The priest stood up to give his homily. I honestly don’t remember much of it – I was hoping and praying that our daughter would stay sleeping at least through communion so that I wouldn’t have to figure out nursing her while receiving Jesus. I do remember him talking about the resurrection and new life, and that’s where my mind drifted off. The resurrection is new life, but all I could focus on was the new life in front of me.
There are so many beautiful things about motherhood, about caring for someone so completely dependent on me. There is a newness of life in her, of course, but with her birth, there is a newness of life in me, a new purpose for my days and a new direction for my life. In some sense, there are two, maybe even three resurrections I’m honoring this year: Christ’s, the birth of our daughter, and the new sense of life I feel. Resurrection doesn’t just refer to coming back from the dead but to new life, and new hope. In a sense I’m dying to myself in all kinds of ways each day and rising to a new life of motherhood. My daughter is simply enjoying her new life, separate from mine and growing into her own person. So this year the resurrection takes on new meaning as we understand life – and its meaning – differently and more deeply.