In a few hours, I’m getting on a plane headed to Avon, Indiana, hometown of my love. This is my fourth Christmas in Indiana. I still miss being a part of the Colorado traditions that I grew up with, but I’m starting to settle into this new family routine as well. I’m always sad to leave the only place I’ve ever called home during a time where home is so part and parcel of the whole experience, but part of falling in love is making new understandings of home. And part of that, for now, is Christmas in the midwest.
Now is a good time to tell you a funny anecdote. Those of you who are gay/lesbian/queer might be familiar with the terms “Rice Queen” and “Bean Queen.” For my hetero (or just less catchy-term influenced) readers, these terms refer to (mostly) white gay men who exclusively (or mostly) date men who are Asian (=rice) or Latino (=bean.) They are kinda fucked up terms, but they also describe questionable behavior, so . . .In any case, at some point I realized that about 90% of the women I’ve dated in my life were from somewhere in the midwest. This wasn’t intentional, it just happened. I’ve got Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and now . . .Indiana. Because of this, I started describing myself as a “Casserole Queen.” A Casserole Queen indeed, but my heart belongs to a Hoosier. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that I spend my holidays in the heartland.
I’ve never been a high maintenance traveler, but that was before I was knocked up. I mean, seriously, once upon a time I could travel with a backpack and be gone for days. Now . . .well, La left me the biggest suitcase (she took the small and medium sized ones, the small with her stuff, the medium with presents for the family) and I packed that MF’er FULL. Part of this is my reliance on the snoogle to sleep comfortably, and the snoogle is not exactly a small accessory. But I also have to bring my giant bottle of miralax, and prenatals, and . . .and . . .I know that travelling gets even heavier once you have a kid, so I guess I’ll get used to it and just be thankful that southw.est lets you check a bag for free.
So, I attend a Lutheran church that was started by a friend of mine from college who is now kind of a big deal in the churchy/theological world. (no, really: http://www.nadiabolzweber.com/) I started going when we were a group of 10 people who hung out in her basement, which was really only a few years ago. Now we’re a fairly well established ’emergent’ church with a congregation of closer to 300 (about 175 folks show up weekly, though.) Anyway, we also closely follow the liturgical calendar, which I love, and we do a lot of kind of old church kind of stuff, including chanting the gospel text during the four Sundays of Advent. Because my church is full of irreverent and ironic people who see the simultaneous absurdity and wonder of the church, I was asked to sing the gospel the fourth Sunday of Advent, because: a pregnant lesbian singing the annunication text. (the annunication, for those of you not into Christianity, is the part of the book of Luke when an angel comes and tells Mary she’s about to get knocked up by the Holy Spirit. Instead of being totally freaked out by this, Mary says, ok – sure! or, more exactly: Let it be with me according to your word.)
Nadia posted about this on her twitter and FB, because shit like that gets people to church. And some twitter dude scolded her for ‘patting herself on the back’ by announcing my sexual orientation and ‘making something holy about something sexual.’ So, you know completely missing the point of why she mentioned my sexual orientation, which was not to show how ‘open’ we are (we are, but we’re kind of over announcing it. do rather than say, y’know?) but to point out that maybe, just maybe, the miraculous story of Jesus’ incarnation is still relatable and real. Because Mary got pregnant without ‘knowing a man’ and, well, so did I. The details are (well, a lot) different, but still.
The whole experience – both chanting the text and the twitter exchange – got me thinking a lot about the miracle of conception and childbirth, and why Christianity makes sense as an important story and guiding theology to me. Infertility fucks with who you are and how you think of your body and what it does. But here I am: pregnant. It IS a miracle. A miracle that science helped make possible, but still . . .a miracle, because even science can’t do it all. And God’s incarnation – that God showed up on earth in a human body – is a story I treasure in part because it means God participated in the miracle that is every conception. Because Mary bore a child who was also the Christ, but ultimately she was still his mother. Sometimes I get all weepy about the idea of Mary and baby Jesus and I chastise myself – seafoam is NOT the word made flesh, y’all! – but that’s not the point, right? Mary loved her baby because he was her baby. The beauty of Jesus fully-man-fully-God is that he was here and had these messy human experiences, and all of that informs the kind of God the trinity is. At least for me. (I promise I’m not prostyltizing, just theologically rambling.)
Anyway, all of this is making Christmas feel a lot more tender and lovely than usual. It’s an interesting bookmark that my due date is Good Friday. (side note: I’m actually sort of hoping seafoam will come a bit late because my church does an amazing Triduum – three days of Easter – service that I really want to go to!) But maybe it only feels significant because the church year is a compass point for me.
Final fun note for today: Seafoam got a package in the mail! I opened for him, since he’s stuck inside. It was a “Twlight turtle” which is something we registered for, but after checking the registry – no one had bought it. The package only had the return address of the company, and there was no packing slip or anything else to indicate who sent it! I’m hoping we’ll figure it out!