Many years ago, long before I had a child, or any hope of having a child, my house was not filled with large plastic primary colored things but with beautiful and breakable things. It was in those days that my mom bought me a lovely nativity set for Christmas. My dad made me a manger to go with it which makes it even more special. It is one of my favorite Christmas things.
Since it is breakable, I’ve always firmly impressed upon Sean that he is not to touch the nativity – only under threat of death or mortal sin is he to touch the nativity set BECAUSE IT COULD BREAK AND THAT WOULD MAKE MOMMY UNHAPPY. And he gets it when I speak in all caps, so he has never bothered it.
This year Sean watched me closely as I set up the nativity set and patiently listened to my exhortations to keep his mitts off the holy family. And just as I am laying baby Jesus in his crib, I drop him and his head breaks cleanly off and rolls under the sofa.
Dark and foreboding clouds gathered on the horizon and silence engulfed the room. The lights on the tree flickered, sizzled and then went out. Small animals scurried for cover. Mommy was unhappy.
Sean’s eyes grew as big as saucers. He gasped and put both of his hands up to his mouth.
“Mommy… are you unhappy?” he whispers.
I hung my head in shame. I had fully expected that when one of the pieces got broken, I would get to blame someone other than myself.
“Yes, Sean I’m not very happy about this,” I said as I felt around for Jesus’ head under the sofa.
Then he turns and hollers up the stairs, triumphantly ratting me out, “Daddy! Mommy busted Jesus!”
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The saving grace of Jesus and a little super glue can fix anything.