Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Nativity Story That Got Away...

From the
HoneyBeez mothering and breastfeeding list...

Went to Abigail's school Christmas concert (no "proper" Nativity this year). Each class did a little something followed by a song or 2. Anyway, Ab's class did a Nativity scene, with Ab as Mary. How proud was I?). A few mins into their bit Ab promptly lifted her dress & shoved baby Jesus up it. The script then wandered away from what they'd learnt & goes as follows....

Joseph: "What are you doing?"
Mary: "I'm feeding our baby"
Shepherd: "Have you got a bottle up there then?"
Mary: "Don't be silly he's having milk from my booby"
Joseph: "That's disgusting"
Mary: "No, that baby milk they have in Tescos is disgusting. My baby's having proper milk"
Shepherd: "What's a booby?"
Mary: "Those sticky out bits ladies have"
Shepherd: "They're not boobies, they're nipples"
Mary: "No they're not, they're boobies"
Joseph: "So why can't Jesus have milk from a bottle then?"
Mary: "Because I haven't got a breast pump with me - you forgot to put it on the donkey"
Shepherd: "Can't you ask the teacher for a bottle to feed Jesus with?"
Mary: "No because this is the best way to feed Jesus. Anyway bottles haven't been invented yet & even if they were I've just had a baby so if you think I'm faffing about round Tescos to buy baby milk when I make proper milk in my boobies you can think again"

I felt a teeny bit sorry for their class teacher - she did try her best to steer them back towards their proper lines but she was laughing so much she didn't really stand a chance. The line about Joseph forgetting the breast pump finished her off - she slid to the floor & couldn't get up for laughing....



To reflect on this story a bit... Recent conversations on an attachment parenting list I'm on (Parenting as Ministry) have led me beyond my usual ruminations of the Incarnation. Though I don't particularly like "In the Bleak Midwinter" (dreary tune by Gustav Holst and biblical inaccuracies aside) I had to go back and re-read a couple of the verses as posted by one of the group members...

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

I was pregnant twice during Christmas - both girls were summer babies, so I wasn't "great with child", more like "great with morningsickness". But I remember during those pregnancies being in awe of the Incarnation. How was it that it was true - Eternal in the womb of temporal, of the Divine heart beating under His mother's? Mary's pregnancy led me to deep joy and thanksgiving for the Gift of the Christ Child.

Somehow, I never connected the dots and thought much about Mary's experience as a "mother" of a newborn - swaddling, changing, nursing and kissing the face of her Son.

Pretty amazing... isn't it?

From our home to yours...


P.S. Hat tip to Tot Rocket for the graphic!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Happy grins, Deb. I knew you'd come around! :-)

(And OK, I guess I see where you're coming from about the midwinter thing.)