It’s Christmas time and, like most 3-year-olds, your son is obsessed with Santa, Frosty, and his silly Elf On The Shelf (sorry to admit it but I broke down and bought one this year). I’m sure you’d be happy to know that he also has a fondness for baby Jesus.
His first obsession, Old McDonald, used to occupy any and every barn in sight. But now when he spots a one, he says, “That’s where baby Jesus sleeps.” Heart warming right? But that’s not the reason I know you would love it. I know you’d love it because it would give you another opportunity to make fun of me.
You know that nativity scene I made? It’s Jax’s favorite Christmas decoration. We were at my parents house a few nights ago and Jax was intensely looking at it. While admiring baby Jesus and the goat, my dad walked over and told him how special the piece of art was. “Your mommy made this when she was a little girl,” he said. At that moment, I knew you had to be laughing from up above. I picked up the lopsided barn and flipped it over. While holding it under the light, I was able to make out the date: November 20, 2001. My Dad looked at me and said, “Wait a minute, in 2001 you weren’t a little kid.” “Nope” I replied, “I was 17.” His face turned bright red as he burst into laughter. I quickly joined in.
I told him the story of the year Mom put out what you thought was my 3rd grade art project. It became a running joke. Year after year, Mom admired it while you laughed. I’d sulk for a minute, but eventually join in the mockery. I gave it my best, but I knew it was awesomely bad. My teacher must have felt sorry for me because I actually got an “A” on the project.
We are born with different talents and skills in life. I was blessed with the ability to sing and to write. But I cannot draw, sculpt, or paint. You, on the other hand, were awesome. You could do it all, and I was envious. Your wonderfully (inappropriate) cartoon doodles ended up on everyone’s junk mail and birthday cards. Your adult guitar students would have a thoughtfully drawn out cartoon to go along with their lesson. I’m sure they all cherish these today.
I let Jax pick out a Christmas decoration to put on your grave this year and he chose carefully. After holding 4 or 5 different items, he picked out a bobble head Santa Claus. Pretty appropriate I thought. Your son has your spirit and your sense of humor. We will visit your grave on Christmas this year and I’m sure I will cry. But maybe I can fight back the tears and laugh like you did. I’ll use my 11th grade art project as inspiration.