The Fool and I have a friend who helps run her church's living nativity pageant. We went a couple years ago, and it was pretty interesting. Then, when it became clear I was having a baby in August, Marylee started eyeing me speculatively.
When she met Jamie for the first time, while she was playing guitar for a contra dance, she smiled at him and said happily, "Hello, Baby Jesus!"
So on Sunday night, we bundled Jamie in his best snowsuit and took him to the church, where he got swaddled in a couple more layers of fleece and a rustic looking wool outer layer.
He's an easygoing little person, so we knew he wouldn't have any problem hanging around with other people, and Joseph looked like the kind of guy who has spent serious time visiting with babies.
While Jamie hung out with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and the sheep and goats (he really liked looking at the goats), I hung out behind the manger, about four feet away, with the other animal handler - the woman whose sheep and goats were lending realism to the scene.
We watched our respective charges - I fretted when Jamie's hat fell off, she put a hand out to stop a nosy sheep from pushing out of the scene altogether.
And she and I chatted while I knit a few rounds on a sock.
Knitting a dark brown and navy blue sock in the night is dumb. I have to frog a round today.
It turns out she has all these sheep, some of which produce good wool, and she has no one to take this wool from her. She said she holds onto it as long as she can, but her husband usually makes her throw it out.
(Her husband also asked me why I was knitting a sock when you can get them for a couple bucks at Wal-Mart. Seriously. So the guy may not be a true appreciator of wool.)
Well, now she has my address, and perhaps I will have some wool one of these days. I think I'll get the Fool to spin some up and send her a hat or mittens in return.
The best part of the night, though, was when I went out front to take some pictures and listen to what people were saying when they realized that Baby Jesus was being played by an actual baby and not a doll.
"Dude, he's going to have to live up to this the rest of his life. He does anything wrong, his parents are going to be all, 'hey, you were baby Jesus! Cut it out!'"