It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Oooh, Christmas. Oooh, wedding. Aack, mutant killer-bee cold/sinus infection, aack, moving and holidays and wedding and moving and medication and wedding and holidays and moving and...
Here's the curly mound of ribbon atop your present, like the ones my mom makes, bundles of cascading curling ribbon bouncing joy into your gift.
Manger moments, if you will.
1) Hearing our Episcopal priest sing hymns to me over the phone Sunday. Our marriage is being baptized into being at a beautiful, sacred Episcopal church, and the good reverend has counseled, encouraged, and breathed rich blessings into our lives as we prepare for the wedding. This was never so clear as the recent Sabbath when I couldn't make it out to service due to illness - again - missing my beloved Advent services, and had to finalize wedding plans over the phone with Father Jon. Scripture verses, candle details, all scratchily communicated over the phone, and then it came to hymns. Processional, check. But what about recessional, and the "gradual," which is the hymn sung when the Gospel text is read? He had a few suggestions, and since I don't have an Episcopal hymnal, lying under several blankets in a bed I had not vacated for several days, dayquil leaning drunkenly on the bedside table next to the all-important kleenex box, stuck inside, a "shut-in" temporarily, I leaned my head back on the pillow and listened. Verses traveled the airwaves, classic old hymns. I had a personal one man choir for several minutes, and it fed my soul and my bones and my mind. I chose the recessional and the gradual. I could not go out to Christmas. Christmas came to me.
2) The six year old lost his first tooth. TA-DA. His mom, he and myself were eating spaghetti for supper, watching a movie, when he popped up. "MY TOOTH CAME OUT!" It's been loose for weeks. A scared expression flitted briefly over his face, which I hastened to erase. "Wow! Cool! That's awesome! Let me see!" My housemate and I peered into his mouth, where, front and left, a bloody hole now existed, which he purposely gurgled and made it flow. The NEW tooth was already coming in, elbowing its way from behind. "If he has to live with three women, at least he should have more than one tooth fairy!" I whispered to his mom later. "I hope the tooth fairy leaves me a thousand dollar bill!" he pronounced, which his mother quickly extinguished. Later, when John came over, John, Angie and I pooled some one dollar bills, crept upstairs into his room, and made the tooth/dollar switch. He got three whole dollars. The next morning, he exclaimed to his mom, "I almost have enough for a brick!"
His class at school is "buying bricks" to build a school for kids in Africa.
The kid gave his first ever tooth fairy money to help build a school for kids in Africa. I said, "that makes me want to go slip MORE money under his pillow!"
We had assumed the tooth fairy loot would be socked away for future Lego set purchases, which is usually his major expenditure.
So now an African school has one more brick, and he has one less tooth.