It's the last day before Christmas vacation at my daughter's school. Lena has been rehearsing her big line as an angel ad nauseum. It's time for the grand performance. The classroom is packed with parents, grandparents, nannies, friends and siblings as we witness the reenactment of the birth of Christ. It's adorable and hilarious - as only 4 and 5 year olds can pull off. Standing ovation worthy for the pint-sized thespians. After the play it's a whirlwind of excitement: gifts to parents from kids, gifts to teachers from kids/parents, holiday fare coupled with cleaning out the cubbies.
As noon approaches, the teachers are gently encouraging us out the door so they may begin their vacations. All the parents are weighed down with items from the event. Emmeline rushes to the door with Lena in tow. We are among the first to leave.
I can't see my kids underneath the piles of coats, cookies, gifts, artwork, and angel wings. My hands are full of frosting from a cupcake that toppled over and I'm trying hard not to drop a glass container full of cookie ingredients. I can feel the girls hanging on to my coat tails so I know they are still with me. I keep encouraging them to "Follow Mommy, hold on tight, don't let go, we're going into the parking lot, almost there..."
I somehow manage to unlock the car and open a door. Both girls crawl in while I dump all the stuff in the trunk. I hear Emmeline laughing hysterically. I stick my head into the car to fasten her buckles. In her arms, she is holding the baby Jesus.
"Oh my goodness. Emmeline!"
"I a baby."
"Yes, you stole the baby Jesus. Right out of the manger. This cannot be good karma."
I look back toward the classroom where people are still streaming out. I would be like a salmon swimming upstream to return the baby Jesus. Plus, then I would have to get the kids out of their seats because I am neurotic about not leaving them alone in the car.
A decision had to be made. Plus, it would be wrong for Jesus to be alone on his big day, right?
So, this was the holiday that Jesus took a road trip.