Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the fifth day of Christmas (sing a little song with me)

How about a snap of the church across the road with a dusting of Christmastime snow to put us in the mood for a singalong? These are a few of my favorite things.

Speaking of favorites, here's Sarah snuggling with Bonnie Belle on the couch. I love that dog more than is reasonable.


Sort of makes me want to cozy up with some hot chocolate and the piano for a few rounds of I'll be home for Christmas.

I think maybe I like taking pictures of the chicken yard in the snow because, well, it looks a lot cleaner that way. But there aren't any Christmas carols about chickens. I don't think. Hmm... Away in a manger? Alas, a roosting box is not the same as a manger. But I'm dreaming of a white Christmas anyway.

And God decorates for the season with or without snow. There's a song on the radio called Christmas in the Northwest. Its lyrics include "a gift God wrapped in green" and it's uber sappy. Just how I like 'em.

But dashing through the snow is more fun than contemplating inedible berries.

Ever since finding my Christmas I find it everywhere. To the tune of all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth.

I discover I'm singing carols in my head all the time. But it's not so much you better watch out.

It's a Silent Night, a miracle in the everyday that fills my head and heart and makes me a little dizzy.
I can't seem to take a decent photograph these days. Nor to string a coherent sentence together with another. I read recently -- can't remember where (search "mommy mush brain") -- a theory of the impending demise of the English language (presumably other languages also?) due to the prevalence of quick-type Twitter- and text-centric lifestyles.

I was prepared to freak out, because, let's be honest, I'm always prepared to freak out. And? I was a double major in journalism and English lit so somehow feel it's my duty to stand for all things Jane Eyre, King James, and, er, Chaucer. Wait. If those examples of the English language can all be, oh, exemplary, and yet so different.... Wait. Gotta think.

Huh. In a barely related vein I've read some alarming studies about the endangered family unit. About the rarity of the family dinner table and the paucity of surviving nuclear families (ooh... sounds dire indeed). These same articles, even books devoted to the subject, don't so much give a guideline or roadmap "back" to family unity but rather stop short at bemoaning our cultural abandonment of "traditional" family values.

While I can follow the logic of each of those arguments (barely -- let's remember I have five children who've stolen most of my brainpower for the foreseeable future) I don't personally find them to be all that scary.

I don't think the written word is dying. I think it's changing. The purist in me is mildly concerned but the realist says, meh, it's an evolving language. Change is inevitable. The proliferation of texting at least means most of this new generation is communicating with one another, possibly even with their parents. Do my kids use "text spelling" in their writing? Nope. (But they don't have electronic communication devices.) Will I be worried when the first of my children writes "ROFLOL" instead of something more articulate? For goodness sakes, no.

Nor do I think the family is an endangered species. Does my family look different than your family? Probably a lot different. Does my family look different than the Ingalls of Little House? Or The Marches of Little Women? Certainly. But I think the love my family shares looks exactly the same. (Every good and perfect gift has the same source.) I think my generation was raised with a keen understanding of the pain of a broken family and an equally sharp focus on building family, fostering love, and creating an unshakable sense of stability for the next generation.

So in the midst of my hymn singing and carol babbling I find some more Christmas, some more sacred in the everyday.

I may not be taking great photos. I may not be writing, or often even reading, great works of literature. I may not be raising the next president of the United Nations. However, I am taking a lot of snapshot pictures, hugging my and other people's babies, eating more than my share of fudge and singing a lot of goofy songs in my head while counting the dishes as a meditation.
That has to stand for something.


Mama Hen said...

What a beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

agreed. I've read several articles and notes about modern parenting and the loss/change and feminism... and as coming across these things was accidental it took me by surprise. It's the one thing in life I wouldn't challenge or change or probably have too much coherent to even say about it. Because I'm being it. Love & live & kiss those sweet cheeks...