For a kid whose life’s ambition is to become a fairy, it was pretty close to a dream role.
My five-year-old, Daisy, got to be an ‘angel’ in our Christmas pageant for the second year in a row.
After adjusting her halo and wings backstage for the fifteenth time, I wisely stuffed tissues in my pocket before the candlelight Christmas Eve service began.
Our church’s take on the Christmas story has a particular spin that hits me right in the heart. This version focuses on all the people who surrounded that baby boy, and the different ways that love guided them.
Or failed to.
My 13-year-old son, Calvin, was recruited to play the heartless innkeeper who turned Mary and Joseph away, sending them to the stable.
Cal doesn’t love the spotlight, but when asked to fill a need he stoically rose to the occasion.
I wasn’t really prepared for him to deliver the most poignant, knife-in-the-heart speech of the program. “I wasn’t there that night when he was born,” the speech began, delving into how the innkeeper missed the opportunity of a lifetime – the greatest love his life could have ever known – because of his own narrow-sightedness.
As Cal walked back to the pew after delivering his speech, he shot me a sly smile as he observed my teary eyes. Through that grin, he mouthed to me, “Softie!”
Yes. Without a doubt. I am that.
When his youngest sister’s turn came to take the stage, I held my breath.
While the other two angels appeared filled with the peace of a silent night, my kid was without a doubt the squirmiest, itchiest, most-frequently-halo-adjusting, funny-face-making angel up there.
She (of course) needed a potty break while her big sister and the other young ushers helped collect the offering.
But my angel got a very specific and different type of “wiggles” while our gifted minister was delivering her Christmas message. I shook my head and laughed quietly into my hand.
Daisy’s little hands were furiously flapping her glittery angel wings.
“I want to FLY!” she mouthed to me, with a delighted, giggling smile.
I think (although I can’t be certain) that she understands how improbable that would be.
But I loved watching her wondrous amusement while even IMAGINING how awesome it would feel to take flight, right there in the church.
We ended the service with lit candles, softly singing “Silent Night.” And yes, I fought back more tears.
I AM A SOFTIE. And proud of it.
I hope everyone’s little angels sleep peacefully on this Christmas Eve.
May we all feel the wonder of imagination and love, and a blessed community that surrounds us with peace and light.