So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Need for Magi

(I entered a version of the following story in Charis Connection's flash-fiction contest last August.)

A Need for Magi

Two gifts. The Kid deserves more.

He plays with the rough-carved Nativity set I made: Christ-child wrestles lamb, champion crowned “King of the Manger.” Last year, teething, he mauled a donkey from our fancy myrtlewood set. Now he’s got his own, plus some blocks made from leftover scrap.

Two lousy gifts.

“Our families will come around,” Mary says, hugging my arm.

“It’s two years. They know they have a grandson, yes?”

Is that fair when I don’t think of him as my, let alone son? Should someone who balks at fatherhood expect better from others?

All I know is my eyebrows hurt from scowling.

A familiar knock hammers through my pessimism. Papa? I stride to the door while Mary tidies her way through the room.

Strangers in robes. “We are magi seeking the King of the Jews. May we enter?”

I step back, bump into Mary—her eyes, wide as when she braved childbirth. “An owl says, ‘Whooo?’ ” I whisper. This time it rates a taut smile.

The magi kneel and pull boxes from their sleeves. The toys on the floor an embarrassment among the cedar and teak and mahogany chased with silver.

The Kid’s nose twists as he slams the first lid shut, but he claps for boxes two and three. After hugging the men, he toddles to the pile of blocks, removes three fat dowels, and holds them out to me. “Ma-guys please.”

Mary and the men laugh.

I join them. Family found us after all.

May you find yourself with family this Christmas, even if you're not related to any of them.


1 Snarky Remarks:

Visiting from the Carnival! Great reflection on the day after Christmas spent without family.

Blogger Gina, at 9:04 AM  

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