Monday, December 28, 2009

Henry's birthday

In honour of my baby's 10th birthday yesterday, and in light of the fact I officially have no "babies" in the house, I'd like to share one of my favourite Henry stories. Given the season, it is sort of Christmassy...

About 4 years ago I took the kids to the National Gallery of Canada. when we were done touring the place, we left but weren't ready to go home. Across from the gallery is one of the most famous churches in town, Notre Dame Basilica. I thought it would be nice to visit and light a candle for my mum and it is a tourist attraction so I figured why not.

It's beautiful, ornate and gothic. Quite breathtaking. While I was off to the side lighting the candle, I let the kids explore a little. When I looked up, I noticed Henry staring, mesmerised by the larger than life cross with the crucified and bloody Jesus on it. As a born Catholic whose parents made her go to church every Sunday and extra at Easter and Christmas, to me the image is both haunting and uplifting. It really is the defining image of Christianity and I was proud that my son was feeling the full impact of that image and the moment.

I crouched down beside him and put my hand on his shoulder feeling the weight of this wondrous awe-inspiring moment between us. Then I realised in horror that I raised a heathen bunch of Christmas Christians because he stared at this amazing depiction or our Lord and Saviour and asked me, "What the heck happened to that guy?"

Hoo boy... my mother must have been whirling in her grave.


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