Throughout the season of Advent the girls have been working hard to make Baby Jesus’ bed soft and comfy come Christmas Day. Each time they show generosity, do a chore with a joyful heart, or refrain from smacking their sister in frustration and decide to share whatever toy is in demand at the present moment (this applies to the preschooler and toddler), they’re gifted with a soft piece of white yarn to place in Jesus’ cradle.
Madeline is fiercely competitive (I have no idea where she gets that from) and thus is being extra sweet. She’s making sacrifices left and right and although part of it does have to do with the fact that she wants to be the one who fills the bed with the most yarn, she’s also developing gentle habits, and empathy truly and honestly has always come naturally to her. She’s the child who will run up to me when I’m trying to use the bathroom because her toddler sister is crying and say, “Mommy! Mommy! You have to nurse her now. She’s crying. She needs you.”
“I’ll be right there,” I’ll tell her.
“Well, I’ll comfort her until you can get there,” she’ll say, and I’ll find her smothering her little sister with a hug. No matter that said little sister is desperately trying to escape her clutch and screaming her pretty, little head off.
This morning Madeline took a look at the bed after she’d made a few sacrifices and said sadly, “Oh, I’ll never get it soft enough for Baby Jesus.” This child is also a perfectionist. (Again, I have no clue where she gets her perfectionism from.)
“Don’t worry,” I assured her. “It will be soft enough.” And thinking of the story we’d just read (The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola), I added, “Any gift is beautiful because it is given.”
She smiled, but then she grew serious again. “Mommy?”
“Which baby doll are we going to use for Baby Jesus?”
“I’m not sure. What one do you think we should use?”
“One with a penis.”
Well, God did become man, didn’t he?