Still Learning

Mommy helping Verbena blow out candles at her second birthday party.

Mommy helping Verbena blow out candles at her second birthday party.

I became a grandmother two years ago today, when Verbena Sue burst into the open air to meet the family that would adore her.  I had loved being a mom and couldn’t wait to relive those joys as a grandmother.  Specifically, I looked forward to creating a memory bank for Bean, a history of loving, that I hoped would be bubble-wrap for her when life got tough down the road.  Creating rose-colored memories is great fun, most of the time.
So, last Christmas this grandma-on-overdrive decided to start a new tradition, stolen from a friend.  The youngest member of the family (in our case eighteen-month-old Verbena) would place baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve, after leading the family around the house in a small procession. . . while singing Christmas carols.  My dear friend’s family has done this for many years, and all six of her children are caring, happy, well-adjusted professionals.  I just knew this would be great for Verbena, and got the family to give it a try.
The result was spectacular!  We only sang about three words of the song before Verbena threw baby Jesus on the floor causing his arm to break off.  Everyone looked at Jesus on the floor, then everyone looked at me.  I didn’t know what to do, so grandpa picked up the baby and glued him back together, and then someone placed him in the manger, but I can’t remember who.   We gave Verbena some milk and put her to bed, and the adults had wine, while thanking God that this tradition was over.
Grandmas are wiser, but they still have things to learn.  Now, every Christmas when I look at that finely glued line in Jesus’ arm, I’ll be reminded to let life happen in a more natural way.  Someday, when Bean is old enough to understand, I’ll share this story with her and I’ll be sure to let her know that mistakes, even little ones, are often the best way to learn things.
Happy Birthday, Verbena!

I became a grandmother two years ago today, when Verbena Sue burst into the open air to meet the family that would adore her.  I had loved being a mom and couldn’t wait to relive those joys as a grandmother. Specifically, I looked forward to creating a memory bank for Bean, a history of loving, that I hoped would be bubble-wrap for her when life got tough down the road. Creating rose-colored memories is great fun, but sometimes things can go awry.

Such was the case last Christmas, when this grandma-on-overdrive decided to start a new tradition, stolen from a friend.  The youngest member of the family (in our case eighteen-month-old Verbena) would place baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve, after leading the family around the house in a small procession. . . while singing Christmas carols.  My dear friend’s family had done this for many years, and all six of her children are caring, happy, well-adjusted professionals.  I just knew this would be great for Verbena, and got the family to give it a try.

The result was spectacular!  We only sang about three words of the song before Verbena threw baby Jesus on the floor causing his arm to break off. Everyone looked at Jesus on the floor, then everyone looked at me.  I didn’t know what to do, so grandpa picked up the baby and glued him back together. Someone eventually placed the baby in the manger, but I can’t remember who.  We gave Verbena some milk and put her to bed, and the adults had wine, while thanking God that this tradition was over.

Grandmas are wiser, but they still have things to learn.  Now, every Christmas when I look at that finely glued line in Jesus’ arm, I’ll be reminded to let life happen in a more natural way.  And someday, when Bean is old enough to understand, I’ll share this story with her and I’ll be sure to let her know that mistakes, even little ones, are often the best way to learn things.

Happy Birthday, Verbena!

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