Sunday, December 10, 2006

My childhood manger...


When I was a little girl, we had a wooden manger that my mom's father had built. He built it when my mom was young and she bought the nativity pieces from the dime store. They gave it to my grandma. It is not frilly or fancy or even spectacular in any way. Oh how I love this manger. I remember being very small and helping my mom set the pieces up each Christmas. We had one of those console tv's and she put it on the top with that fake snow lining stuff. She would take each piece out with great care and she would tell me the story of how and where the pieces came from. I would hold them in my hands and try to imagine my mom being a young girl and buying them for her mom. I have never met my grandpa, but my mom still gets a sparkle in her eye when she talks about him. After the manger was put up each Christmas, occasionally I would very carefully play with the pieces. I was so careful, but I suspect that I was the one that broke one of the lambs legs off. I asked my mom if I did, but she doesn't remember either. This is where the story gets better... One year, while I was at school, my mom put the manger scene up. I came home and saw it sitting on top of the tv. My heart sank! I went and sat on the stairs and cried quietly. I didn't want her to know I was crying, but the tears just wouldn't stop. My mom eventually found me sitting there and she asked what was wrong. I told her that I had always set the manger up with her and I was so sad it was already up. It was my favorite thing to do each year. My mom hugged me and I cried some more. Then she did the most amazing thing. She went right over to that manger and she carefully wrapped up each and every piece and took it all down. She didn't stop there. She got on her hands and knees and crawled into the crawlspace with the manger. She put it in the way, way back where we stored all of our Christmas decorations. Then she came over to me and told me she was so very sorry she had put it up without me and that I could do it all from start to finish. Now, my mom was always a great mom and still is, but this thing that she did for me was something I have always remembered. My complete sadness had turned to complete happiness over how much my mom loved me. I did crawl all the way back into the crawlspace and carry it all the way out and then we carefully unwrapped the pieces and put them in their places. Complete with the colored light in the back. I am a different mom than my mom was. She always tells me how great I am, but the truth is I wish that I could be that patient with my kids. I wish that I could show that much love as often as she did. I do try and sometimes I succeed, but sometimes I fail miserably. When I walked into my mom's house this past week and saw the manger sitting under her tree, it reminded me of how lucky I was to have her for my mom. God certainly blessed me with her. I love you, mom!

2 comments:

Leann said...

Kari, I honestly don't think you broke the lamb's leg because I don't remember a time when it wasn't broken, even when I was little. I remember propping it up against the sheperd boy so it wouldn't fall down.

Kari C in FL said...

I couldn't remember a time when it wasn't broken either. I always thought it was neat how he propped up just perfect.