the story behind the BEARD:
First thing first, this was C's last year in the Nativity.
I will never forget the year that we painted the Nativity scenery on large cardboard pieces from the old Granite Furniture store in our home town. I never would have thought that 11 years later the primary kids would still be using it; nor that I would have a daughter turning twelve, and in her last Primary Nativity. Time flies.
Friday night was the ward Christmas Party. The children participated, yet again, in the reading of the Christmas story from the scriptures.
C had been asked to be a Wiseman, not enough boys, and definitely NOT what she anticipated being. PLAYING A BOY, what were these leaders thinking...
When time came for the program the girl who was asked to be Mary had not shown up. C was then asked to be Mary.
My sweet C, beaming from ear to ear...she wasn't going to have to be the Wiseman. But then, she looked over at Danielle. Danielle looking at C, Danielle in the pretty angel costume. Danielle wanted SOOO badly to be Mary. C has been Mary once before; my last year as Primary President [I finally gave in, and let my daughter be Mary, after all her years of longing, and me choosing others to be Mary.]
C knew that look, the look in Danielle's eyes. She said, "Danielle, do you want to be Mary?" Quiet Danielle, barely able to even nod yes. So I said, "Danielle, You want to be Mary, don't you?" "Yes." Again, I could barely hear her.
So C began to take off the costume for Mary, and trade Danielle for the Angel costume. The pretty angel costume. Not a bad trade. At least it wasn't the Wiseman.
BUT THEN...the primary leaders said, "OH C, not an angel. WE NEED A WISEMAN."
I thought C would start to cry right then and there. She was back to being a BOY. YUCK. C has enough of boys, just surviving childhood with THREE brothers.
But, she put on the wiseman costume. Little did I know until the curtain rose that they had BEARDS for the wiseman. So humiliating. Poor C, who kept looking out at me during the entire program, with yearning eyes. Pleading: MOM SAVE ME. And me, who could not be reverent for even a minute because I was laughing so hard at S; S-10, who you can barely even see his nose through the costume.So take another look at the pictures...you thought J was the only one with the silliness. And take another look at Mary. Mary; who was meek, and Joseph; who was mild. And know that this, the BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, was the one where my little daughter, sat, in a Beard, looking at precious Mary, holding her baby, and knowing that this IS what Christmas is.
...Giving what you want most right now [to be a GIRL in the program], for what you want most eternally [to know that you gave up something you wanted, for someone else.]
'Will you, um, marry me?' I haven't seen you in weeks! You don't look happy or excited about the prospect of our marriage! You're asking me to give up my - my freedom, my joie de vivre for an institution that fails as often as it succeeds? And why should I marry you anyway? I mean, why do you wanna marry me? Besides some bourgeois desire to fulfill an ideal that society embeds in us from an early age to promote a consumer capitalist agenda?