I’m 41. I have 6 siblings and 3 daughters. I have sat through as many nativity plays as some teachers. Don’t tell anyone, shhhhh, but they make me cry the more I see!
Maxi and Midi Minx took part in theirs today. Midi was typical Midi and made me laugh and cry in the same breath. Dressed as a star, with her wispy white-blonde hair framing that angelic little face, she looked so sweet and full of the wonder of Christmas. My inner scold reprimanded me: “You take those children for granted! They’ll not be young for long! This might be the last year they’re all so innocent and believe in Santa Claus!” (sometimes I wish the narky auld witch would just bog off or shut up…). As I stifled a little gasp at the sight of my 2nd baby confidently smiling at the audience, she picked up the wand one of her fellow-stars had dropped and, for all the world like a Mother Hen, gave it back, then shepherded her friend away from the edge, then gathered them all into a little skipping circle. She’s the youngest child in the school (9 days younger and she’d have been in the following school year instead) but she looks after her school-friends like she’s their older sister.
Maxi, meanwhile, confidently spoke her narrative piece. For an anxious little girl, she does relish a good audience! And to the right of the stage, wrapped up in a white blanket, was the Little Baby Jesus, aka Mini’s baby Annabel doll, complete with blue biro-scribbled cheeks.
The children then sang Away in a Manger. It’s not my absolute favourite carol, but it’s near the top. However, I can’t listen to or sing the third verse without croaking or crying (I blubbed at our village’s Christmas Lights Turn-On when we sang it, but luckily it was in the dark..!). I’m not sure why it seems to be getting to me more this year more than most. It’s not that I’ve known of more little children and babies dying or becoming seriously ill this year than in other years (or maybe it is – the number is far, far too many); maybe it’s just all associated with my inner nark’s chant about the transience of childlike innocence, and how bitterly short some precious little lives are.