The Pastor’s Wife: I’m A Kid At Christmas
It’s 6:45 a.m. and I am brushing my teeth. I am brushing my teeth with my two sisters and my brothers are standing in the hall teasing us. It will be there turn next. Mom hollers from the kitchen to hurry us up so we have time to gather our stuff and head out the door.
We’re more restless now than ever. We have a few days left before Christmas break so we are feeling a little fearless along with it. Daring, I mean…trying mom’s patience is on the top of our list so we tarry a little more. We hope she has enough Christmas Spirit to let us get away with it. And she does…she hasn’t paddled our backside or hasn’t called out everyone of my siblings name before she got to mine…it’s a win.
Out the door and on our way to school. It’s only a couple of blocks up the street and with the mild weather I’m wearing a light sweater and sneakers without socks. I will pay for that later as the sand from the playground makes it way into the cracks of my toes rubbing blisters. But for now I’m good and have not a worry in the world.
I’m early as usual. Not too early that I’m the lone girl on the monkey bars but not too late that I miss the golden opportunity to run amuck with all the others before the teacher blows her whistle.
I never understood why we didn’t just stay here…I mean outside that is….the last week before Christmas break. We did nothing anyways except color sheets of Santa Claus and toss some glitter on a glue blob. Usually underneath that blob was a half colored picture of a reindeer. Half colored because nobody wants to miss the glitter. They ration that stuff.
Nevertheless we are here and it is the last week. The last week before freedom! The last week before Santa Claus comes! The last week before we go to my uncle’s house for dinner and eat way too much dessert! It’s the last week and for me it seems like a year.
The school day goes by rather quickly and I even see my teacher looking anxious. I don’t know, you suppose she’d like a break from us hoodlums? Nah….she loves children, I couldn’t dream such a thing. But I suppose she is looking forward to Santa just as much as we are.
Mom baked some cookies this weekend and arranged them in a cute cardboard box with Christmas trees and gingerbread men on it. I’m particularly drawn to the little gingerbread men with the frosted piping and the candy buttons. Are those red hots? I love those! They’re my favorite!
And then I remember I must snap out of it and give the box to my teacher, as ordered by my mother. So I do! She hugs me and says, “thank you.” She adds it to the tower of cookie boxes on her desk and instructs me to go sit down. She probably saw I was already in a daze or a sugar coma from just thinking about what it would be like to eat so many cookies.
Every day seems pretty much the same for the rest of the week until Friday comes.
That was just a blur! I remember there was a party and running around! And pretty sure my teacher was huddled in the corner praying. I may have heard her ask God for it to be over. And then…and then…the glorious sound of the bell! I can picture its rhythmic hand tapping celebratory on the hard metal dome and like a dam that breaks loose…kids spilled out from doors into the outside corridors of the building.
The monitors outside have a big job and whistles are blown right and left. Something about the last day before Christmas break. It’s like the passage to doing the unimaginable. Always wanted to slap that boy who has teased me all year! Well, here’s my chance and I dart his direction and before I know it…it’s done. I look back to catch him looking around for the culprit and our eyes lock. OH NO…he knows it’s me and I power down my sockless sneakers and make my best strides towards a teacher. It’s Christmas, I’ve so got this…A boy chancing a girl…I’ll win every time! She hollers out his name and he shouts..”BUT TEACHER SHE DID IT!!!”…but that doesn’t matter as she has already decided her case and I’m off the hook to go home.
Outside the school block I take a moment to celebrate my victory with a little dance to which I care less if anyone is watching. I’m a kid…It’s all about the dance and it’s all about the taste of the oh so sweet victory. Today I will chalk it up to success and when school starts back up I will have a pit in my stomach for the pay back. But for today I will dance the dance of victory!
Now to get home and rattle those presents! I must work steadily on my guesses and I don’t have time to tarry to long on unimportant things. If I hurry I may even beat my siblings to the pie hidden behind last night casserole in the fridge. I try not to get my mouth set on it’s deliciousness just in case but it’s been a good day so I speed up and hope for sweetness!
I am just a kid and it’s the little things in life that excite me. Waiting is always an eternity when it comes to Christmas and patience does wear a bit thin but I shall take in its memory now…in my adult years for just a moment later. Perhaps to remember what it was like to wait, to having so much excitement that you want to bust! To looking forward to what’s in the package. To squeezing my grandparents’ necks so hard I thought they’d pop. Or burying my nose into the folds of my grandfathers shirt, the sweet tones of his pipe tobacco in his pressed shirt pocket intoxicated me and still floods my memory today.
Maybe I wish for a moment for that childlike faith to be stronger in my life. Stronger in my faith. Even as a cowboy pastor’s wife I long for that childlike freedom I once experienced as life’s harshness has worked away at it like sandpaper. I then remember that this is it…the time to grab hold of it once again, to be captured in the innocence of childhood and to that child born to us in Bethlehem. OH those familiar words leap into my memory… “unto us a child is born” and I try to imagine what Christ was like as a child.
Did he run and play? Was it hard for Him to wait? I imagine so…but unlike me, he had no flaws. Unlike me had perfect faith even upon temptation. He had perfect faith even when He struggled.
He was touched by life’s harshness but always held unto His childlike faith, even unto death.
I am not strange to need to remember what it was like to be a child, it would do us all some good to reminiscence once again. It would do us more good to ask once again for that childlike faith. To let this time of year be the catalyst to a fresh faith that will carry us through the waiting. And us…for His people to have the type of excitement that makes us want to bust as we wait for Him to come again.
This is the time of year to be restored and to celebrate once again as if you were a child. It’s the time again to remember the simplicity of faith. And once again to hold tightly to whom we are waiting on. Don’t lose faith my friends… “unto us a child is born.”