We took out the girls’ Nativity play set a few weeks ago when we unpacked the rest of the Christmas decorations. The girls have had more fun with the set than we could have imagined. The biggest challenge for me has been keeping track of all of the people who belong in the manger. Knowing the location of all pieces of every toy is essential, because you never know when you’ll need a bargaining chip.
I was trying to convince Audrey to get in her car-seat the other day and in desperation I said “Audrey, I’ll give you whatever you want”. She hopped in her seat and said “Can the fairy come?” I had no idea what she was talking about, so we went back inside and she plucked an angel (fairy?) from the Nativity for a travelling partner. Our set is currently short one angel, one donkey and Joseph. My husband used to loudly exclaim “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” whenever he walked past the Nativity set (which is funny every time, really, it is), but losing Joseph has taken the emphasis out of the whole statement.
Yesterday, we were heading to the playground and Audrey grabbed baby Jesus “Baby Jesus wants to come slide”. I wanted to tell her no, because we could not lose the star of the Nativity, but she was very insistent. She had a great time at the playground, tossing baby Jesus down the slide and pushing him on the swing. There was one point when Abby was attempting to dive headfirst off of a playground apparatus and I had to run to catch her. In the process, I had to take my eyes off of Audrey and in those short few seconds, baby Jesus was lost in the playground mulch.
I know that many people spend years searching for Jesus, but I never thought it would be so literal for me, as I crouched on the ground, digging through mulch while muttering “Baby Jesus, where are you?” After an exhaustive search, I found him, just laying there peacefully, as if he had been right in front of me all along.