There were these three kings, you see
At least, one of the three young lads was dressed in proper kingly fashion, as in with robe and crown. The other two Likely Lads
sported shades and resembled small, but energetic, gangsters. Their teacher, standing behind them, exhorted them to "strut their stuff". All the way down the aisle to Bethlehem.
This had me thinking that possibly,
just possibly, the king who was dressed as a king had disobeyed teacher's orders and gone with the whole King Business, crown and all. Or, more likely, his proud mamma, having been overcome with excitement at her son landing a starring role, was then equally
overcome with disappointment to find he was expected to wear a white shirt, black trousers and sunglasses. "Over my dead body!" she told everyone who would listen, "He has been cast as a King and a King he shall be."
Obviously I don't know for certain that this was the case. I have, quite shamelessly, made it up. But my story does have the Ring of Authenticity, don't you think?
The event: the annual Carol Service
for pupils of the special school (in every sense of the word) of which I am proud to be a governor. My task for the morning was to welcome All-Comers, hand out programmes and direct Thirsty People towards a table set out at the back of the church where Friends
of the School were being friendly, dispensing tea and coffee, and offering mince pies for those who were both hungry and thirsty. Yes, indeed, I accepted one. I felt it would be rude not to. And, as you know, I am Always Thinking About My Stomach.
On Welcome Duty with me was Dana who was wearing quite the most amazing Christmas jumper I have ever seen, embroidered with sleighs drawn by husky dogs. Apparently it came from Canada many moons ago, a gift from her
Canadian cousins and she only wears it on one day a year. I guess I was lucky that yesterday was The Day. Lots of other people were wearing Christmas jumpers which, once again, caused me to berate myself for my abject failure to kit myself out in Festive Fashion.
I was particularly taken by the jumper sported by one of the Friends which featured a Christmas pudding posing as a reindeer. I guess you had to see it to believe it.
Once everyone had arrived and found a
seat (Dana went off to find some stacking chairs as we were running out of pew-room. I have decided that Dana is the Resourceful Type) the Nativity Play began. Joseph's mother was sitting next to me - well, she was in a pew and I was perched on a stacking
chair at the end of said pew. During the singing of "Plodding Along to Bethlehem" (yes, really, I promise I haven't made that up) Joseph and Mary were required to parade around the church. Joseph kept up a fine old pace, leaving poor Mary trotting behind him,
completely unable to catch up. "We have to go round hundreds of times," he informed his mother as he passed us for the umpteenth time,"We can't stop till the end of the song..."
I particularly loved the dance
of the angels, each be-haloed member of the Angelic Host partnered by one of the incredible Teaching Assistants whose patience, good humour, care and love for their young charges - like that of the amazing teachers who work so hard to make their school (in
the words of the Christmas card the children made for me) "the best we can be" - is Beyond Praise. What a very special Nativity Play this was!
While I was enjoying the merry mayhem of a Nativity Like No Other,
Our Jack was helping out his Auntie Hil by accompanying her, The Rascal and The Twinkles to the local Twins Club. I cannot imagine another nineteen year old who wouldn't use revision for up and coming university exams as a sound reason to be excused when The
Call to Arms came.
But this is just one of the many things that makes the eldest of our five grandsons so very special. He is our Pied Piper, attracting small people to him like bees round the proverbial honey
pot, never complaining when they wrap their arms around his legs so that he can't move an inch, always ready to respond to requests to be lifted off the ground and swung around. "Higher! Higher!" Higher it is, then.
It is Jack's actual birthday today. He is enjoying a trip to the cinema and a meal out with his family. It will be a Grown-Up Occasion. Or, at least, as grown-up as Team Baldwin ever gets. Especially, to be honest, compared with Twins Club.
Happy Birthday, Our Jack. You can't possibly know how very proud of you we are, your Grandad (aka Mr B) and I.
Believe me, I know special when I see it...