Today after Mass we paused on our way out to chat with the visiting priest. As we were standing there, I saw Bella eying the empty manger and watching a girl place some straws in. I could tell Bella wanted to place some too. Although it’s supposed to be place a straw for each good deed you’ve done, I thought she could just have the fun of putting one in and we can explain the good deed aspect next Advent.
Of course the straw all clumped together and Bella picked up the entire clump from the basket and placed it in the manger. We explained that she was to only grab one piece and needed to leave some straw for the other kids.
As I was bending over to help put the straw back into the basket, Ben suddenly fell out of the sling and landed face first on the floor, halfway in the manger. I’d tucked him into the sling right as Mass was starting and while he was in there well enough when I was standing up, I guess it wasn’t up to a profound bow. I was distracted by the straws and didn’t remember to mind the baby. It was only from the height of a couple of feet but my heart leaped as I saw him flop down to the floor like a little rag doll.
I scooped him up and checked him over to make sure he was not hurt. He seemed shaken but not really hurt. Later I did find a little scratch on his face and a nick on his ear, presumably from the edge of the rough wooden manger.
The visiting Filipino priest came over and gave Ben a blessing. I felt foolish and covered it with humor, admonishing Ben that he’s not supposed to be the baby in the manger.
I held him close, tucked him back into the sling and then we were off into the snowy day.