Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas Day at our house was filled with good memories, the sweet laughter of our children, fun, food, and games. It was really very lovely.

Except for the public humiliation part. I could have done without that.

Christmas morning began quietly and calmly, with Colby out in front of the fire in his rocking chair doing a little more reading before teaching class at church.




And then the kids woke up.

No, really, it was a fantastic Christmas morning. We had a fun breakfast, got ready for church without many mishaps, and the kids' excitement over the arrival of Christmas Day was contagious!

Colby left a little early to prep for his class in the quietness of an empty church and I was excited that I'd finally get to drive my new (old) car! But I'll tell you more about Mavis (the car) on another day.

But first there was the matter of taking pictures. We've ALWAYS taken a family snapshot in front of the tree on Christmas morning since Joshua was a tiny baby. Except this year. I didn't even think about it until I was watching Colby drive away.


Oh, well. I'd just have to take a few pictures of the kids before we left for church.

And... we're off to a great start.

Oh, yeah. Doing good here.

Um. Priceless.

Okay! Three out of four looking at the camera and no funny faces. I'll take it!

Okay, who's up for trying a new pose?

Well, three out of four... oh shoot, I cut off someone's head.

Hrm. This is not going well.

Oh for pity's sake. A tongue sticking out, crossed eyes, and half a head again.

And this was 2 seconds before the baby began to wail.

So I picked up the little one and snapped a half-way decent one of the older 3 before we called it a day and headed off to church.

I was very proud of myself for not forgetting the camera. In fact, I even thought far enough ahead to bring the extra batteries, the battery charger, AND set them up in a classroom to charge all during Sabbath School.

I am SO on top of things today, I thought to myself as I set the sleeping baby down in the Mother's Room and listened in on Colby's class.

Soon the service was starting and before I knew it, the Christmas Program had begun, progressed through the first several songs or skits and *gasp* WE WERE UP!

The children all filed up and stood in front of the podium, all holding hands and grinning out at their friends and family. In one arm I held the baby, and Elayna clasped onto my other.

"Awaaay in a Manger no crib for a bed..." we all sang.

And THEN I realized.... the camera still sat with its nicely charged batteries on our empty pew.

I tried to send eye signals to my mother-in-law to PICK. UP. THE. CAMERA.

It was no use. We were done before I knew it and so the family out west will NOT be watching that video anytime on youtube.


We filed back down the aisle and someone whispered to me that there was a change in the order and I was up NEXT, so I quickly handed off the baby and grabbed my book of poems.

Rushing back up there I hardly felt any nervous twinges at all. I mean, I'm up there on a regular basis, leading song service. I speak up in Sabbath School. I tell the children's story now and then. It's not like I'm a MOUSE that NEVER speaks up in church!!

But, for whatever reason, on Christmas Day something went completely haywire in my poor little brain.

I began reading my selected poem and made it through 2/3 of it.

And then I got to this part:

"I am big, and I can stand things-
Knocks and jeers and rags and cold,
But she's nothin' but a baby,
Just now turnin' five years old."




"Yesterday I earned a dollar
Sawing wood for Mr. Dare-



"*sniff* - s-s-s-sorry,", I choked out. "It's not like I haven't read this a dozen times, but *sob* it JUST hit m-me - *sniff* I HAVE a five year-old!! *SOB*"

I looked around the audience for a few cold, hard stares to shore me up, but I very mistakenly glanced at my good friend Dawn, who happens to be the mother of SEVEN children.

There were tears on her cheeks, too.




I continued as best I could:

"Most enough for shoes and stockin's,
'Cause her little feet are bare-r-r-r*sob*"


I tried to look around the audience again, but by then everything was blurry.

Gadzooks!! I thought to myself, I CAN'T just run for the hills and hide my head, the poem HAS to be finished now!

Again I tried to look around the audience. Surely Uncle M. is around here somewhere to give me a nice look of contempt for showing all this emotion publicly to snap me out of this!! Where IS he?!

"That's all right," I heard a voice say calmly and quietly behind me, "I have something I'd like to read anyway."

Oh. Right. He's behind me.

I took a deep breath and tried to continue, biting the insides of my cheeks to take my mind off of my half-crazed desire to just hide behind the podium. It didn't work. The best I could do was signal my poor unsuspecting husband to come up and rescue me.

Which he very valiantly did. I hid behind his green sweater biting my cheeks and fighting off the embarrassment that was then threatening to overcome all the other crazy thoughts in my head.

I will not run for the hills, I will not run for the hills.
I. Will. Not. Run. For. The. Hills.

I had chosen two poems to read and TWO poems were going to be read, so help me.

Colby, bless his heart, read the rest of the first poem waaaay too fast but I did manage to pull myself together enough to get through the entire second poem.


By the time the service was done the embarrassment was in full force and I just wanted to pretend I was invisible long enough to get to my car. Yeah, that didn't work so well. But I survived and found great relief in banging my hands against my steering wheel repeatedly on the drive home.

Ah, well. Christmas progressed as Christmasses should, with laughter and tender words and sweet memories being made. The children had so much fun opening their gifts that night and I managed to even stay up past 8 pm for once.

When I recalled the incident at church to my dad the next day, he laughed and said, "So, you got bucked off and you got right back on, huh?"

Yep. I guess I did. But next time I decide to do this sort of thing, I plan to pick something funny to read. That way when I have to pause and get a grip on myself it will be because I'm totally giggling too hard to talk.

The embarrassment might not be any less for that, but at least we'll all remember it later with a chuckle instead of a cringe.

*excerpt of poem Filling Daddy's Place by Bessie Brent Winston. Alabaster Boxes R&H 1947

1 comment:

Nabila Grace said...

I got tears in my eyes reading it! Does that count as helping you out when you were reading it? ;o)


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