Monday, December 21, 2009

Where is Baby Jesus, maybe Tucker ate him?

My wife was determined to teach our children the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season. She was going to do so by using the nativity scene we were given as a gift by her parents a few years ago. My children watched in anxious anticipation, as she carefully unpacked each piece of the ceramic nativity scene. First the stables, then the manger, followed by the animals and the wise men. Finally, she started getting to the bottom of the box, Joseph and Mary made their appearance and my son patiently waited, finally asking, “Where is Baby Jesus?”
“I don’t know,” answered my wife.
“I don’t see him anywhere! Maybe Tucker ate him,” my son replied.
Tucker, as many of you know, is the trouble-ridden family dog. Just like many families, he is also a key member of our family. However, this one statement from my son gives you an idea of some of the trouble he has caused in our household. I bought Tucker for my wife as an engagement gift six years ago. He was an adorably cute, five pound Cocker Spaniel from South Georgia. He was as sweet as could be. Over the years, we have served as “foster” owners for many dogs – a revolving door of big dogs and small dogs, cute dogs and not-so-cute dogs; but throughout, Tucker has remained steady. I would have preferred loyal and obedient, but I guess steady will have to do.
Once the entire Nativity scene was laid out and on display, my son decided to make a slide out of the roof of the stable for the characters, because you know what would have really livened up that first Christmas . . . a slide for Baby Jesus! I can see it now, the wise men arrive after traveling great distances with gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, and a slide for our Lord and Savior!
In the meantime, my daughter is now at the age where she is walking, climbing, and essentially getting into everything within her reach. This regularly results in pictures, ornaments, and often drinks and food scattered around the living room floor (Tucker seems to enjoy the food and drink on the floor and ultimately makes quite a good vacuum in just such occasions). All in all, this ultimately leaves our home looking as if a small tornado (or the Tasmanian Devil) just wiped through our living room.
The point is that every family has its quirks (my family is no exception – in fact, it’s probably the model), but rather than allowing those quirks to become a point of frustration, it is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the uniqueness that is your family. This holiday season; celebrate the quirks with your family. That’s what makes them yours!