This is the Christmas Rat. He was named this by the Monkey. I always called him the Christmas Mouse, seemed more PC, but no, he tells it like it is, Ol' Christmas Rat. The Monkey has been fascinated with him ever since the Christmas boxes came out. He is a decoration I brought with me from my single girl days, when all my decorations were cutesy and girly. The Rat is dressed like an elf and has a little ceramic bathtub he lounges in. I usually put him in the bathroom, give it a little whimsy and cheer.
The Monkey decided he needed a real bath the first night, filled his little tub, and dunked away. Meh, oh well. We squeezed him out and hung him up to dry. I have talked before about using your stuff, and that things have more meaning when they are used, and old, and worn, and have funny memories associated with them. No one ever laughs and giggles and sheds a tear over the pristine figurine that sits in a lighted glass case it's whole life. No, we will look back at this tattered, soggy rat someday and crack up at his adventures.
Christmas Rat now has quite the exciting life. He rides around a plastic speed boat in the bath tub each night, and sits atop a monster truck during the day, waiting for the Monkey to come back home from school and continue his adventure. It makes me think of a Children's book. How this little Rat lives such an exciting life one month out of the year...then waits patiently in his storage bin to rejoin his Monkey and continue his Christmas adventures. Hmmmm....I should write this book...you think?
The Monkey is also fascinated with the Nativity scene this year. He loves moving all the porcelain people around, and gives me the look of questioning approval whenever a tiny "clink" happens. I just smile and remind him to be careful. Oh what a thrill it must be to be allowed and trusted to play with something that you know is delicate and treasured. So far, he has done so well. Only one sheep has a cracked foot, and I am almost certain that happened in the box in the attic.
The Monkey calls them "Baby Jesus, Mommy Jesus, Daddy Jesus, Sheep Jesus, and Donkey. Poor Donkey. Again, I will cherish the memories of Sheep Jesus forever, and will probably call him that when the Monkey is 30.
Beautiful life happens when we stop stressing about things, and just let life happen. So what if the Christmas Rat gets wet and soggy, he will dry. What fun adventures he would have missed if he was off limits! Who cares if Daddy Jesus and Sheep Jesus end up a little chipped...at least a little boy was interested enough in them to hear the story of Jesus's birth, and will remember the truth of Christmas forever.
Don't get me wrong, I am not going to let him drink red kool-aid in my brand new car anytime soon. I am not a hippy mom who says "oh you colored on the wall, what wonderful free expression" Um, no. But I am learning to let life with kids happen around me, and soak up the magic that they bring to my life, chips, stains, and memories.
Merry Christmas everyone. May your chipped cup runeth over with joy and love this Christmas.
Oh and if you steal my Christmas Rat children's book idea I will sue you. Happy New Year! ;)