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By Laurel Pattenden

As we go through old photos or journals, we can revive moments in our lives that are etched in our hearts.

For those of you who are like me, where our photos are heaped somewhere and our pens never met paper, in a timely fashion, to the events of our lives. We use our memories. It is interesting to look into the archives of our lives.

Lately, I have been thinking about the preparation and birth of our children. This paragraph could have started, “A long, long time ago” but it feels just a heartbeat away.

The concerns of preparing a nursery brought decorating and safety decisions about the room, type of crib, the colour of the walls and the theme on the curtains and quilt. (Personally, you can’t beat Beatrice Potter’s Peter Rabbit or M.M. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. My opinion - my column.) Reading up on government regulations for high chairs and car seats. Books to be read on baby care and relating to your newborn.

Disposable diapers or cloth? Breast feed or bottle feed? Is the nursery safe? How about the air quality? Did I mention concerns over the right colour? Oh yes, good, because it has to be right. Nothing is going to impair the arrival of this baby. Nothing! Except for the few things we forgot but we can rush out and get them.  

Eating nutritious foods and no shouting with your partner or other loud noises allowed. Even better have classical music playing for calm. Keep the atmosphere gentle. Be kind to everyone in the household. Less selfishness and focus on what is happening. Our preparation is focused. We live lovingly for the moment to come.

Everything is changing in the home. Everything is changing in you and your partner. The body is changing, the heart is changing and relationships are shifting. Unfortunately or fortunately the government car seat regulations are constantly changing too!

We go through a lot of preparation to hold the baby. We also go through a lot of preparation during the Advent season to get ready to hold the Christ child. Do we stick with the traditional red and green with splashes of gold and silver or opt for the yearly colour trend? Real tree or fake tree? Which is safest? Scheduling the setting up of the outside decorations early enough to avoid the harsher weather but being aware of the right time to turn them on. After Halloween? After Remembrance Day? At the start of Advent? Perhaps on December first? No matter what, someone on the street will turn their lights on too early. You can count on it happening every year! We look for ways to up cycle our worn out decorations. The ones we don’t have the heart to throw out.

Nutritious foods give way to trays of our favourite cookies, cake and candies. (Personally, you can’t beat Christmas fruit cake and shortbread cookies. As previously mentioned - my opinion, my column.) Our music changes to Christmas carols, Advent hymns and peppy Christmas tunes. We search for the perfect Advent readings that touch our hearts and we inform the librarians to reserve the Christmas mysteries written by our favourite bestselling authors.

Everything is changing in the home. Everything is changing in you. Your heart is changing and relationships are shifting. Our preparation is focused. Nothing is going to impair the arrival of Christ child. Nothing! We may have forgotten many things. Our preparation will never be complete or finished to meet God. However God is willing to let us hold the Christ child in our hearts.  

Laurel is retired and likes to spend her time in her art studio.