The nativity ranks high amongst the proud moments of a primary school mum.
Small son hadn’t told us about his involvement so I didn’t even know what part he was playing until the day of the performance. I happened to get there early and then saw him standing near someone who was getting into the donkey costume, leading me to think he was the back end of the animal for a second. I then had this exchange with a child in his class:
Boy: “Your son is a nincompoop.”
Me: “a nincompoop? Now that’s a word you don’t hear often enough”
Boy: “no you don’t, but I said ‘innkeeper'”
But it turned out that small son was the innkeeper. So then of course, I worried he was about to tell the holy family that there WAS in fact room at the inn. Fortunately, it was a kind of tableau, so the story was told via songs rather than words. Phew.
The teacher told small son to walk slowly and elegantly down the aisle. Which he did until he’d seen me, whereupon he started running like a long jumper, before leaping into position, right through the gap between Mary and Joseph.
He then started dancing like he’d seen a dance floor for the first time. I wondered at first if he’d got something in his shoe that he was trying to shift, but then realised he was dancing. No amount of gesturing from me could stop it. I then hit upon the brilliant idea of pulling my ears out and sticking my tongue out at him. It worked! He stopped dancing and then pulled the same face back at me, in full view of every parent present.
He wasn’t the only one actor that made me giggle. The readings from the smaller children resembled the Brit Awards presented by Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood from 1989 and then another set of prayers was delayed while the children got stuck in their pew, desperately trying to get the door open.
But aside from all that, it is great to hear the nativity story told by children who are experiencing it themselves for the first time. The church was filled by heartfelt singing and it was a beautiful service.