The Silly Way

Dec 18 2010

Last night, I drove my kids home from a party “the silly way.”

Can we go the silly way?  Mom, can we, can we?  It’s FUN!

For those of you who don’t spend a lot of time in my car, the Silly Way is any way other than our usual route.

In the summer, the Silly Way runs just slightly out of town for a side-trip to see cows grazing in a field.

In the fall, we drive by the scary Halloween house.

Now that it’s winter, we venture out almost daily to look at as many Christmas lights and decorations displays as possible.

I’m a total sucker for the Silly Way.  I mean, sure, it’s a waste of time in an era when we feel compelled to rush to accomplish the next thing.  But I get weird little tidbits about and glimpes into the minds of my children when we take those few extra moments to go a different way.

All month, Cai (4) has been singing his original song called “Beautiful Lights.”  He does this in a clear, high falsetto voice that would do justice to the boys’ choir at St. James’ Cathedral in London.  The lyrics are “beautiful lights, beautiful lights, beautiful lights,” etc., etc. and so forth into infinity.  His siblings believe it’s the most irritating song on the planet.  I think it’s so sweet that it makes me cry.

Last night, we saw this display at a neighbor’s house:

You know who that is, right?

So did Cael (4).

Look, Mom, it’s Santa and Mary!

All the kids seemed to agree with Cael’s interpretation.

Maybe I should be concerned that my son is mixing his secular and religious characters.  Maybe I should care that Mary, the Mother of God, is hanging out with Santa Claus instead of holding sweet Baby Jesus.  I mean, Santa may once have been St. Nicholas, but now he’s the harbinger of all materialistic evil, right?  That’s no company for Mary.

Besides, “Santa and Mary” is not the route we usually take to the Christmas story.  That’s kind of weird.  It’s a little bit irreverent.  And it’s silly.  All of which means that I like it very much.

This Christmas, my family is talking about Baby Jesus.  Again.  Like we always do.

This Christmas, we’re waiting and wishing for our visit from Santa.  Again.  Like we always do.

And sometimes, we’re going to do things the Silly Way at Christmas time.  We’re going to make up our own songs and rhythms.  We’re going to see our faith and our secular world hanging out together.  We’ll find that we either irritate people or they agree emphatically with our strange conclusions.  And, frankly, either one is OK in my book.

As for my family, we’re doing this life the Silly Way.

And, oh, it’s FUN!