Tonight for family night, we ate brownies first because Jack would not have it any other way, before talking about baby Jesus—specifically why there was a baby Jesus.

I asked Truman to set up the little wooden creche. Charlie joined in. Finally Jack came and hung the shepherd by the crook of his staff on the nail above the stable meant for the angel.

In the enduring spirit of autism, the boys lined up all the figures in a straight line.

Jack tipped the manger on its side. The donkey was upside down. The angel, bumped from her spot above the stable, lay prone on the ground.

For one and a half seconds, I thought about fixing it.

But I liked that the nail through the shepherd’s hook gave him a birds-eye view of the stable, as he held on tight. I liked that everything and everyone was a jumble, with the baby Jesus quietly resting on his side.

Because life is a jumble. It’s setbacks and surprises and periods where you def feel like you’re at the end of a line of people standing awkwardly around an angel lying flat on the ground. Also there is a donkey with his feet in the air.

Life isn’t the Christmas Pageant version of the Nativity.

It’s the special-needs family home evening version of the Nativity. Where the unfolding of things isn’t following stage directions.

But Jesus is still there.


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