Slightly different – but a good memory…..sort of.
I just love Christmas. It is my favorite time of year. Actually, I guess I love the fall season, but Christmas is right up there for favorite holiday. I try to be sure to fit in little reminders of what Christmas is about into the mix. It just so happened that after a hectic Saturday of running kids to choir practice and squeezing in some shopping which is always an adventure, we came across a live nativity scene at St. Phillips Catholic Church on the way home. My kids – two girls, Casey age 13 and Lindsey age 8 years old – spotted it and started bouncing up and down in the car for me to pull over and go through it. I made a turn and got in line. There was a choir that sang and a bell choir in the Nativity Scene, so you had to ride with the windows down to get the full affect. I had a van and it was pretty cold outside. So instead of opening the side door the kids squeezed into the front seat and rolled down the window. This was fine too because I didn’t want to chance my youngest jumping or falling out of a moving van. It seemed to work well. We were able to go through the whole scene and enjoy it.
The church had done a wonderful job putting together scenery and costumes. They had the verses painted on backdrops to tell the story and live animals. The bell choir played a little while we were there and there were some really cute little angels that smiled and waved before pretending to pray. There was also a Shepherd that was feeding a sheep that was (apparently) hungry. The sheep nibbled a little too hard on his fingers and the shepherd said something under his breath that I don’t think was part of the story. There were also a couple of wise men beside a donkey that were discussing football quietly. I breathed a sigh or relief and thought to myself, “this is really nice.”
We neared the end of the driveway and they were handing out candy canes and bibles. They smiled and we all said Merry Christmas. Then I drove to the end of the curb and waited for a chance to turn. It was at this point that the kids decided they were crowded and started pushing each other. The window was still down and I told Lindsey to get back in the back seat and buckle up. Now WHY exactly my 8-year old suddenly thought she could fit through a 4 inch space between the window and the seat I don’t know, but instead of going back the way she went through the first time she decided to crawl through by the door….and her jeans got stuck on the seat, she lost her hand hold and got wedged. She slid down between the door and front seat to get really stuck then and …of course….started screaming. Word of warning, Lindsey is really LOUD.
My oldest daughter tried to roll up the window because people were looking and Lindsey screamed more, her butt and legs were facing the window and she started kicking. I’m trying to be calm and yell over Lindsey’s screaming – “DON’T MOVE” and decide to LEAVE the driveway and pull across the street to a parking lot to pull her out. We didn’t get that far. Lindsey wouldn’t be still and in the meantime my oldest daughter decides to try moving her seat back and Lindsey slides down more and is now yelling “YOU’RE KILLING ME!!” at the top of her lungs. So Casey moves the seat back up. Lindsey could’ve made the scream record at that point you would’ve thought we were doing some kind of medieval torture on the kid. Her legs were kicking wildly out the window and there were now quiet a few people wondering what the heck we were doing. The wise men and shepherds came running, the donkey took off across the field, the choir dismantled and the angels were running to catch the sheep and Mary (I understand) took the opportunity to go to the restroom.
After much wiggling and pulling we finally got Lindsey free. Casey stood off to the side in horror watching the mass chaos. Lindsey sat and rubbed her stomach; tears still running down her face.
“Lindsey, baby, are you okay?” I asked.
“I gotta go to the bathroom and now I’m hungry,” she smiles. She then points to a candy cane held by one of the Wise men and asked “You gonna eat that?” We all look at each other for a minute and burst out laughing. Everyone – the Wise men and the Shepherds laughed and shook their heads.
“Why’d you think you could fit through that small space?” Casey asks her.
“I could before,” she holds her hands up to the space then measures herself, “I guess my butt’s too big now.”
“Ya think?” Casey said.
“I think if someone was video taping that scene we are going to wind up on funniest home video’s for sure,” I said.
“I’ll be remembered as the girl with her butt hanging out the door,” Lindsey laughs.
“No, the minister said, you’ll be remembered as he one who made the Nativity lively.” He smiled.
We got back in the car, everyone in the Nativity went back to their posts with apologies to all the cars waiting in line, and we started out of the parking lot. The minister stood in the road to make sure we got out.
“Mom,” Casey said, “I don’t think we’d better make THAT a tradition.”
Cherry Coley (c)