Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I am not qualified to explain

There are a lot. Higher math, football special teams, the Tea Party, just to name a few. But it wasn't until a recent trip to Florida that I realized this also included the nativity scene.

I know what you're thinking. What's to explain? It's a baby, his parents, some kings and some sheep. Of course, there is way more significance to it but being a Jew, I can really only topline it. I don't know all the intricacies and to be honest, never really considered them. Until A. and I encountered a nativity scene in a mall in Florida.

A: Look Mommy! Dolls!

I looked around frantically for my husband. As the non-Jewish half of the parental unit, this was his job to explain. I had already covered Chanukah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Purim....even Tu Bishvat. This manger scene surely qualified as his territory. Alas, he was no where to be found, lost in the hateful labyrinth that is Sawgrass Mills mall. I sighed.

ME: Well....they aren't dolls exactly.

A: I want to touch them.

ME: Oh, no, you can't.

A: Why?

ME: They aren't meant to be touched.

A. rolled her eyes at me. A new thing she has learned in PreK. Thanks, PreK.

A: There are kings there. Why are there three? Who is the real king? And where is the queen. Why is that lady dressed as a bride?

ME: She isn't. She is the mommy of the little baby.

A: Is it a boy baby?

ME: Yes. His name is Jesus.

A: Well, it looks like a girl to me.

ME: Trust me. It's a boy.

A: Why are there sheep there? That's funny.

ME: Everyone wanted to visit the baby.

A: Sheep don't visit babies.

ME: Well, in this case, they did. Lots of people thought he was a special baby.

A: Why?

Oh dear. Where is my HUSBAND??

A: Is that lady clapping?

ME: Who? Mary?

A: How do you know her name?

ME: Everyone knows her name. She is not clapping. She is praying.

At this point, A. attempts to leap over the fence surrounding the nativity scene.

ME: Hey. No.

A: I want to hold the baby.

ME: I told you. You can't.

A: But it's a baby doll. I want to hold her.

ME: It's a "he."

A: I think it's a girl. Ohhhh. Look over there.

ME: Santa Claus?

A: No. Ice cream.

ME: Let's go.

A: Can I pet the sheep?

ME: Not this sheep.

A: Bye Jesus! Hey, maybe that's what we should name Baby Brother.

ME: Hmmm. Maybe not.


The Borgens said...

Hey Nanette, not sure if you'll remember me (Gayle Surloff from Pines Middle and a friend of Laura Lazarus') but I had a similar occurrence recently. I too and married to a non-Jew and will live in Brandon/Valrico, just outside Tampa - an area that has few Jews. This year we attempted to visit a church that has a live Bethlehem scene and as we're walking up my kids started asking questions. My husband too was no where to answer the questions and here I am trying to explain why there are animals, why is this display at a church if Bethlehem is in Israel, etc (my kids are 9 & 11 are being raised Jewish so were aware of the city name). I feel your pain!

Nanette said...

Hi Gayle,
Totally remember you...I think if you are Jewish there are just some things you don't know about the nativity scene. Like did you know those three kings had names? I didn't until this year!!

Hope you're well and Happy new Year.