An Anecdote From Christmas Past

As I mentioned earlier, due to internet security,  I can't tell you exactly when, or for how long, but in not too many more days we'll be in Thailand (who knows? Maybe I'm there right now!), taking in the sights, tracking down our old haunts, and - most importantly to me - being warm.

Since we're having a fairly abbreviated Christmas this year (due in part to our tiny  streamlined apartment and part to our upcoming travels) I have actually had some extra time to troll through the blogosphere, reading about the festive season in places as far-flung as Munich, Dubai, and New York.   A lot of the blogs I read right now are written by people with small children, and, as such, are full of touching, witty, and adorable things their children are saying or doing.  Since I have teenagers, I am cruelly denied this pleasure, partly because a) they no longer believe in Santa and his entourage and b) they don't like me to put them in my blog, which is a shame, because teenagers are just as entertaining as young children, if not more so.  This weird desire for anonymity makes no sense to me, as they are part of a generation where everything you do, say, or think is almost instantly available for public consumption within miliseconds of the actual experience.  Besides, none of their friends read my blog anyway, so it's not like I'm going to mess with their street cred. Nonetheless, in my attempts at respecting their boundaries (blah blah), I have to tread carefully these days, thinking longingly back to the time when they just walked around doing and saying adorable things at the drop of a hat and never cared if they were being blogged about.  The incident I am about to share with you took place back when Son#1 was very young and - since I'm positive he doesn't remember actually doing it - I am claiming it as my memory, which means that it's mine to blog about without technically violating his present-day privacy.  At the time, I was still young(ish), idealistic, and without a firm understanding of the capricious (and somewhat violent) nature of small boys.  It also went a long way towards helping me dispel any romantic illusions I had about the job of parenting.

 Son #1 was about 3, and it was shortly before Christmas. We had a very nice lifelike Italian creche that we bought the Christmas after he was born and have put up each year since (until the dog ate Baby Jesus and we had to come up with a substitute, but that's another story) and this was the first Christmas he was old enough to really understand the basic story of the the Nativity, which he had asked me to tell him.

Let me just say that my mother's heart - as well as my sense of the tender tableau the two of us were creating  - thrilled at this.  Picture, if you will, the scene:  Son #1 in his adorable fuzzy jammies (with feet in them of course) curled up in my lap next to the fireplace, bathed in the soft glow of the lights of Christmas tree, looking together at the manger scene in front of us.  Cuddled together there in the soft firelight, I gently and simply tell him one of the great stories of our faith.  We touch the various characters;  the tired Mummy, who needed a place to rest;  the proud Daddy, who had looked so long for a place to shelter his family; the wondering shepherds, the reverent Wise Men, the animals in the manger, all of them there to adore the very special newborn king - a little boy, just like him.

When I am done telling the story, we are silent for a while; I hug him close, marveling in the peace and beauty of the scene, of sharing the true meaning of Christmas with him, and the reverent shine I see in his eyes.  After a moment of reflection, he reaches out a chubby hand to touch one of the figures, "That's Joseph?" he asks me.  "Yes," I say, "that's Joseph."  He reaches out again:  "That's Mary?" he asks.  "Yes," I agree, "that's Mary."  Then, he reaches out and softly touches the figure of the baby.  "That's baby Jesus?" he asks, looking at me again for confirmation.  "Yes, dear," I tell him, stroking his fair hair, "that's baby Jesus.  We sit together, sharing a, tender moment before he leans forward again, towards the creche.  Suddenly, his hand - now in the shape of a fist - darts out at the creche again. "BONK!!"  he shouts triumphantly, with a violent hammer blow into the manger; "I BONK the baby Jesus!

Anyway.......Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus.


Wilma said…
Too funny! If it's any consolation to you, our manger currently has the Annoying Orange in the place of the Baby Jesus with everybody crowded around looking confusedly at it. We don't put the Baby there until Christmas Eve and so this year my two boys (aged 12 and 49) decided that the Annoying Orange should stand in for him. I totally forgot yesterday to replace him. Oops!! Oh well, it's all getting put away a little later tonight anyway. LOL
Karen said…
LOL!! A perfect end to my Christmas day. Leave it to a little boy to ruin the moment! I spent the day with my 2yo nephew and his newborn sister, who fulfilled my need for little ones at Christmas. And went home with my brother to boot! The teens were also fun...highlight was Leah giving Katie tickets to Les Miserables in March. Both girls were thrilled, Leah to give such a special gift and Katie to receive it. Hope you are warm, we are a bit chilly here after a warm fall and early winter. Still waiting for cold weather and snow! Now to enjoy a week off....have some jobs to do but plan to spend plenty of time relaxing. My new Kindle awaits!
Frances said…
Small children are soooo unpredictable! Very funny.
Too funny- I can picture the scenario to the letter!
Just love it. I am also quite taken with the idea of the annoying orange!

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