This year we made it to our home church for Christmas Eve service. My favorite part of the service is always the end when the sanctuary is alight with only the congregant’s candles. I love to watch the glow spread from the front to the back of the room as each person receives the light and passes it on to the next. There is something magical in the simple symbolism.
However, this year as the flame reached our corner my peaceful smile was quickly replaced by a grin of suppressed hilarity. In an effort to put out the blazing pillar before him my son leaned over in my husband’s arms and started a furious attempt to extinguish the candle that they were sharing.
Having only reached the ripe age of two years old, some of his motor skills have yet to be fully developed. Blowing out candles in not something he has learned to do with finesse; what he does is more akin to spitting.
So when he leaned over to have a go at the flaming wick, his nose scrunched up, he pulled back his upper lip and out came a quick, smart: “Ffitt, ffitt, ffitt.” The little girl sitting a couple of rows in front of us who is one month older than my son held her own candle calmly and just watched it flicker. My husband’s little light had to be lit three times. And each time my son more excitedly tried to put it out.
When the proper time came for the candle to be extinguished we tried to no avail to show the little guy how to properly blow the flame out. He tried to mimic us, but unfortunately all that was produced was a longer “Ffffffffffftttt” at the end of which his eyes began to cross for determined concentration.
It was a Christmas miracle that the little guy didn’t hyperventilate and pass out with all of the “Ffitt”ing that he did. A few of the attempts were rather vigorous and I was afraid that I would lose my composure and laugh out loud in love for my little boy during the singing of “Silent Night,” but I managed to choke through it. This Christmas left me with many other wonderful memories, but of all the memories this one has to be the merriest.
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