My son was playing The First Noel last night on the piano. As we sat around drinking eggnog by the yule log, we did what we always do at Christmastime when our children play carols: We begged him to slow down, because my boys play everything two or three times faster than they should, like monkeys on crack.
When we finally got him to slow down to a bearable speed, we sang along.
The first Noel, the angels did something, then something and something and something else.
We don’t really know the words.
As I sat there by the warm glow of the fire, wishing we knew more of the words, I got to thinking about the one line we did know: The First Noel. And I thought, you know, we hear a lot about the first Noel, since it’s the story of Christmas. But what about the second Noel? What was Jesus like in his first year?
I didn’t have to ponder this too long, because as luck would have it, when I flipped on the TV late last night there was a breaking news story about a huge archaeological find. Biblical historians had been brought in to authenticate a small booklet, and it was just confirmed last night to be Mary’s diary from the early years. They were a little embarrassed, because it had actually been found with the Dead Sea Scrolls way back in the 1950s, but the team of (male) archaeologists thought it was a user’s manual for the scrolls, so no one bothered to read it.
New diary – Old one lost on road trip somewhere in the last sandstorm.
I’m nine months pregnant and wouldn’t you know it, we have to go on an umpteen million mile donkey ride to go sign our names in some city I’ve never even been to. This government is getting out of hand.
Oh, boy. Here we go. We’re in some little truck stop of a town called Bethlehem and my water just broke. Just what I always wanted; to have my baby at a hotel!
Just great. No room at the hotel. Looks like I’m going to have my baby in a barn. I am surrounded by cattle and sheep. Not optimum would be an understatement. This can't be the best place for this.
OK. That went well. Baby is here, and he’s awesome. I don’t just mean regular awesome, I mean the actual definition of awesome. He’s glowing. My baby rocks! We’re naming him Jesus.
We are still in the barn. This just can’t be the best place for a newborn. I’ve got him wrapped up in some swaddling clothes, and he’s sleeping in the manger on the cleanest hay I could find, which isn’t saying too much. He seems to like it, though, so I guess it’s cool. Strange night. We have a crazy-bright star right above the barn. It’s like a spotlight.
Some shepherds just stopped by. They looked a little freaked out. They wanted to meet the baby and kept saying they “heard about him from an angel.” I’m not sure what’s in the water around here, but those guys were a little off.
WHOA! Holy cow! And I mean Holy Cow. Seriously, I think the cows in here might be Holy now. THE ANGEL JUST SHOWED UP! No wonder those shepherd guys looked freaked. WOW. He was seriously bright. I had to ask him to tone the light down a little because I was afraid baby Jesus was going to get a sunburn. Totally crazy deal – Jesus and the angel looked at each other like they already knew each other. Freaky! I think we have a special boy on our hands here.
The angel left a while ago and apparently the shepherd guys did a pretty good job of getting the word out, because there’s a decent crowd outside the barn. Lots of people bringing gifts. This is pretty crazy.
Some little kid with a drum just showed up. Normally, I’d be like, “Uh, hey kid, if you wake up my new baby with that drum I’m going to make you eat those sticks,” but baby Jesus was loving him. He rocked a pretty good Par Rum Pa Pum Pum. I think he’s got a career in music ahead of him.
OK, the angel was awesome, and the drummer boy was cool, but now some kings have showed up. Kings! Three of them. I guess they came from a long way away, just to meet Jesus. This kid is famous already. I wonder if we need an agent? Anyway, the kings brought camels. Camels! What's up with that? If one of those camels spits on my kid, it's on. I don’t care if they’re kings or not. Who brings a camel to visit a newborn?
OK, the kings brought gifts. They were very nice men, and the camels behaved themselves. It was nice of them to bring gifts, but can I just say something? One of them brought gold. Always a great gift! But the other two brought frankincense and myrrh. Are you guys serious? Mmm, thanks for the fragrant tree resin, fellas. Do I look like I have the time to be boiling down tree sap to make my own perfume? I have a newborn in a barn here. I appreciate the thought, I really do, but some people just don’t know how to give gifts. How about a 52-count box of Huggies and some formula? Would it have killed you to drive the camels past a Target on your way in? Can’t really clean his little butt up with Myrrh now, can I fellas?
OK, I just re-read entry #11. I haven’t had much sleep in the last week. I think I’m getting a little cranky.
OK, I’m looking back over my diary here, and it looks like it has been an entire year since I wrote anything. Wow, that was a crazy week in the barn! I guess I have been a little too busy raising this boy to write anything. Sure, we now know he’s the Son of God, and that is truly awesome, but be that as it may, he is not without his challenges.
A little recap of our crazy first year:
People have seriously been visiting every day for the entire year. We had to build a turnstile and hire a security guy.
Our formula budget has been through the roof. He keeps turning his formula into wine, so we keep having to take it away from him. On the upside, we have a lot of really good quality wine!
Don’t even get me started on bath time. This is the dirtiest kid in the whole village. Have you ever tried to get the Son of God underwater if he doesn’t want to be? Let me just tell you… not easy!
Our playdates are cool, though. Anytime one of the other kids gets a bonk or an owie. Boom. Healed. We have regular playdates with a big group of boys. There are twelve of them!
Here’s the craziest thing – his poop does not stink. Seriously, never. When the other moms think I’m bragging, I make them smell it. It smells like frankincense and myrrh. Crazy!
Anyway, we just got finished up with his first birthday party. We tried to do the smash cake thing where you give them their own personal cake to eat with their hands. Instead of smashing his face into it like all the other neighborhood kids did on their first birthdays, he turned it into three thousand little individual cakes for all the people that just randomly showed up. What’s the point of sending out invitations with this kid? He certainly draws a crowd. You should see the pile of gifts!
I’ll try to write a little more regularly this year, but no guarantees. This kid is keeping us on our toes!
See you soon,
Copyright © 2014 Marc Schmatjen
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