The one about Wally, the one Mama has to give to Dawna to finish. The one Dawna has to give to Hannah because the tears flow too steadily and the voice breaks because sometimes joy just does that. Sometimes it just touches a heart so deep and strong there's no room for words. This year, you know you're a woman when you cry at stories, according to Ethan. I'm not sure how he knows that's when you know you're a woman, but lots of thirteen year-old's know a lot, a lot more than I give them credit for.
And Mama says this is probably the last year we'll have a little boy in the house, who wants to do little boy things, be crazy like little boys. Now I want to cry when I think about it, and I want to let Ethan run mountain man wild and not look at him with a frown when he does demented boy things and scares his sisters in the dark, and I want to make him glad to be a kid still, and I want to be a kid again where everything is wonderful except the bad guys who do naughty things and are mean to everybody, because childhood should never end. Not truly.
Because when you look at the world and think you're grown up, nothing surprises you. Nothing is wonderful anymore. Thirteen year-old's only know what thirteen year-old's should know, no more, and the sun rises and the world spins, the children should be seen, and Santa Claus really isn't real, and blah, blah, blah.
I need to be like Wally who ruined a Christmas pageant because he saw the two haggard figures at his inn door and despite his memorized lines yelling them off into the night, and all the yada-yada about the way things are supposed to be, he let them in, he changed the story. He filled with joy inexplicable, and said what we all should say, every day of the year, "Wait Joseph, bring Mary back! You can have my room!"
Because Wally beheld with wonder what we've all seen a thousand times before, because he watched the same donkey plod the same road to Jerusalem carrying the same blue robed figure stuffed with the same pillow as if it were the realest thing ever happened. And he thought what we all should think, and he did what we all should do. And he lived Christmas. Because looking at old things new can makes old things the realest, and makes the tears come fast, the words unnecessary, and the joy true, everything that is supposed to be a whole new way of living.
"Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others--many, many others--who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen." Trouble at the Inn, Dina Donohue