It's not about the house.

Monday, December 24, 2007

O'Christ Divine

We babysat for my Football Buddy yesterday. Remember my Football Buddy?

That wasn’t taken yesterday because, you know, no camera. But she doesn’t look too much different these days. Bigger.

Football Buddy is three years and one month old; this is her first Christmas where she really gets it. Santa Claus and Baby Jesus and Deck Them Halls and All That Jazz.

My whole “Baby Jebo” thing, in fact, comes from her. When she first saw the Nativity scene in her house she decided the beautiful baby’s name ought to be Vanessa. Her folks explained that the baby already had a name, so she started calling him Baby Jebo. And she put him in Time Out.

She’s pretty much got it straight now, pronouncing “Jesus” just like a grown-up does. When she got to my house yesterday and saw my Nativity (I have the Fontanini*; she has a Lladró), she asked me what this baby’s name was. I told her. She thought about it for a minute and then announced “I have a friend named Jesus, too.”

“You do?” I said, thinking maybe there was a little Hispanic boy in her day-care class.

“Yes,” she answered. “But my Jesus is white.”

Ah, Lladró.

I thought about giving her a whole “they come in all sorts of colors” speech, but then I remembered that she's three. And she is, after all, correct: her Jesus is white. And mine is brown. That's lesson enough for one year, right?

* * *

Later, Johnny had gone out “shopping” and my Football Buddy came running over and crawled up in my lap. “Auntie Erin, what does Uncle Johnny call my underwear?”

This is a game the two of them play. He’d said it his way once when we were dressing her, and she got upset because he hadn’t used the proper word. They play-fought about it for a while, and now every time they see each other they do a little back-and-forth. But Johnny was gone “shopping,” so she’d decided I could play the game with her instead. I answered as he would.

“Knickers,” I said.

“No…” she said, slyly, like always. And then: ”Why does Uncle Johnny say knickers?”

She’s in a ‘why’ stage.

“Uncle Johnny says knickers because he’s Irish.”

“Why is he Irish?”

“Because he comes from Ireland.”

“Why does he come from Ireland?”

“Because that’s where his mommy lived when he was born.”

“Where is his mommy now?”

Whoops. Wasn't expecting that one. I skipped the race conversation and now I've cornered myself into explaining death? Um...

“Well, honey, she’s gone now.”

“But where is she?”

And then it hit me.

This is not something I’d usually say, because it’s not something I technically believe. But it sure seemed like an easy out, and I’m almost certain her parents wouldn’t mind me putting the idea into her little head. I am her Catholic Godmother after all (don't ask: even I don't know what back door they slipped me through for that one) -- and anyway, better this than telling her what I really do believe. So I took a deep breath and I said it.

“Well, sweetheart, Johnny’s mommy is with Baby Jesus.”

So now she thinks Jesus is from Ireland.

She hopped off my lap and went over to the crêche. Picked up Mary in one hand and the baby in the other, bounced Mary and squeaked “Baby Jesus, where did you come from?”

And Baby Jesus answered “I’m from Ima!”

*I'm sorry, but I have to point out that, if you follow that link, you will not see the set I have. Apparently, Fontanini is coloring their pieces now. This is WRONG. The Fontanini Nativity is brown. Period.


su said...

And you were not even cornered in a locked car, which is where you usually started these discussions

jen said...

That was sweet...
Holden thought Jesus was in the toilet for a long time because that's where Gramma Mary flushed the fish...
Merry Merry Erin!

Shannon said...

And I'm sure, according to Johnny, baby Jesus IS really from Ireland - like all great men are.

This was a great post! Merry Christmas to you all.

Leslie said...

How sweet!

And her white baby Jesus could very well be from Ireland, while your brown one is from the middle east...

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