If we’re friends on facebook, you know that Jesus of the Nativity and his two Ceramic Parents met an untimely and Earthly end earlier this fall when Gideon James freed them from their basement storage manger. This left me with a strong desire to start some Mulder traditions but with nothing to anchor the effort. When this advent calendar went on sale, I pounced. It would be the perfect backdrop for a lifetime of December memories. Yes. When it arrived in Thursday’s mail, Gus Man helped me carefully unwrap the ark (Boat! Mom! Boat!), all 24 little animals, and sweet Noah.
I was feeling good.
The children were in love. After a brief course in the Ethics of an Advent Calendar (which basically boils down to one rule: No Peeking), the boat was placed on the hutch and Noah was set out in anticipation of his flock joining him throughout the month. There was much ooohing and ahhing and touching. I have no delusions of this sitting high on shelf and never being maimed by my children. The Good News is a hands-on story here, Folks. But, MY LANTA, if I didn’t expect for Noah to go missing after 30 minutes.
By the time Curt got home from work, Noah was no where to be found. I had rescued him myself twice… once from driving a (toy) bulldozer, and once from shepherding in the confines of (toy) barn with a monkey, a giraffe, and a moose. Gideon James. Clearly, we had a good idea of who was responsible for Noah’s disappearance, but repeated questioning only resulted in a (very cute but maddening) shrug.
So, Mamma took a walk. Mamma needed to breathe some fresh air. MAMMA JUST WANTED IT TO BE SPECIAL, PEOPLE. We didn’t even make it to DAY ONE. I walked out to the garden where the children had been playing tackle. No Noah. I walked to the pole barn, where the shorter child had unrolled the air compressor hose to fix his wagon. No Noah. I looked under the van, on the porch swing, in the dog’s water bowl.
I briefly considered cancelling Christmas. Obviously, my family cannot handle the pressure. But, I rallied.
I gathered the troops… the 2 troops… and squished them together on the leather wing-back chair next to the boat.
I closed my eyes and put a gentle, non-scary smile on my face.
“Children, whom I love and adore,” I started, “Where is Noah? Think. Think hard. He is here somewhere. I’m not mad. I’m not even surprised. I just want Noah back. WHERE IS NOAH TELLMENOW.”
And, without pause or rehearsal,
Rylie pointed up and said, “Heaven.“
while Gus pointed at me and said, “No peeking.“
Noah was found
later that evening
deep under the hutch
with chocolate chip remnants on him
Noah is now permanently attached to his craft
with gorilla glue.
Christmas is still on.
I am in it to win it,
come hell or 40 days of high water.