The evening was chilly but clear, and we gathered together with hundreds of others from our community to sit close together on benches under a starry sky. Because Will was cold and he couldn't see very well over the heads of the people in front of us, he accepted my offer for him to sit on my lap, and I enjoyed a rare opportunity to hold my growing-up youngest boy close to me for awhile. The pageant began with Roman soldiers, who were carrying shields and lit torches and marching in unison down the centre aisle, and from that point on the entire crowd was mesmerized by the powerful story that unfolded before us, the story that brought light into the world on the first Christmas so many years ago. There was a young Mary riding on a real donkey led by a quiet Joseph, and we watched the heartbreak of them being turned away at inn after inn until one kind innkeeper offered them his stable for a place to rest. There were angels singing beautifully from a high platform above the stable, and three wise men with a live camel who arrived from the east to bring gifts to the newborn baby Jesus. Real sheep and chickens and rabbits and donkeys peacefully surrounded the Holy Family under the light of a bright, bright star, and we were all reminded to have hope in our hearts at Christmastime and always. And then, in the middle of this very lovely scene, Will suddenly turned and looked at me with twinkling eyes and said to me in a whisper, "I just farted on you."
Ahhh, boys. They sure bring their own special kind of joy to the world.