Everyday Christmas #12: Not a Silent Night

The last couple nights have not been silent at our house.

The following things happened, plus all the normal stuff, plus things I’m forgetting. (Children shall remain nameless to protect the innocent/guilty):

– One child had at least six stinky diapers in one day, including one at her brother’s basketball game where there was one place to change her in the entire building – the changing table in the bathroom the boys’ team used as its locker room. She thought she was falling off the table every time she moved, so she screamed in terror every time I tried to wipe her. This came after my search for a place to change her, which led me through a door that apparently I was not supposed to go through because it set off an earsplitting alarm, which also caused this child to cry loudly in terror. (This is “funny” because that was the second time in less than 24 hours I set off such a loud alarm. The first was when I got home at 1 a.m. the night before from the Behold the Lamb of God show in Nashville (about which more shall be written later) and the alarm keypad batteries had died so I couldn’t turn off the alarm, which erupted with earsplitting wails of its own, waking up one child and one mama who was gracious but not particularly happy. Not a great day for me and alarms.) Okay, back to the list.

– Situations came up involving two children that we had to talk to other people about. They didn’t really do anything wrong and neither were huge deals, but the situations still took up time and thoughts and phone calls.

– The stinky diaper child needed a bath to cleanse the stinky area, which led to her siblings’ bathroom, which was less than clean, which led to a few moments of frenzied cleaning while the child was in the tub where I lamented society’s future if this room was any indication of the generation to come. There were ridges of toothpaste on top of the toilet seat. How in the world?

– One child needed several items printed for a class the next day but neglected to inform us until the night before, so we got the old printer out which took many, many, many very long minutes to spit out one page except I tried to plug in the computer at the same time and knocked the printer plug out right in the middle of the page. Then we had to start the many long minute process again. I have always had an adversarial relationship with printers. This did not help.

– Because of my lack of sleep and general crankiness, I may have spoken in a less than kind manner to several family members. Approximately 14 of them needed something all at the same time, and, well, you know.

– Our beloved dog must have heard me say in the morning that it had been a long time since he had had an accident in the house, so that evening he proceeded to poop in the dining room.

– One child may have forgotten how to do long division. When I tried to help this child, I may have forgotten how to do remainders. Then I had to go clean a stinky bottom.

– Bedtime is an ever-receding horizon, that may or may not ever be reached each night. I also may have forgotten to say goodnight to the boys.

– I had a conversation with one young child that went like this:

Child: Mommy, why – 

Dad: I’m not Mommy. Do I look like her? Am I pretty and do I have long, black hair?
Child: My hair is brown.
Dad: Yes it is, just like mine.
Child: Your hair isn’t brown.
Dad: It’s not?
Child: No.
Dad: What color is it?
Child: Gray.

Well then. No Christmas presents for you, child.

– I opened the front door to figure out why the Christmas lights outside weren’t working and – I am not making this up – a bird flew straight into the house. The kids got really excited and started chasing the little thing everywhere. He made it to the kitchen, ran into windows, went downstairs and perched near the ceiling upstairs. We may or may not have thrown socks at him and played bird sounds on the tv to get him down. He probably spent at least 20 minutes in the house before we got him out. So teachers, I’m sorry if our kids don’t have their lunches or their homework tomorrow. It’s the bird’s fault.

– We have a Christmas, sporting or church event every single night this week. Mountains of laundry wait to be folded, but one child has managed to grow out of almost literally all of their shirts. Christmas lists must still be managed. Dinner must be made. Other discipline situations arise. The kids have a Christmas program they need specific outfits for. 

This is life, and even though much of it is frustrating in the moment, here’s why it’s ultimately okay:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation … all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together … for in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (from Colossians 1)

In him, all things hold together … even stinky, cranky things. He is in every moment and every moment is holy when he is there. We’re not just changing diapers and chasing birds and helping with homework. We’re loving our families with a million small acts every day that may lead them to love Him, and though we might experience surface frustration, underneath it all, we have a sure foundation because the Image of the invisible God in whom the fullness of God dwelled made peace by the blood of his cross. He did that by coming to Earth as a man, which we’re going to hear our kids sing about tonight, and maybe just for a few moments, the night will be silent.

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