”They made me have a beard!”
Those words were spoken by Miss Lashes at Christmas time 18 years ago, and she has never recovered. It was her first nativity play, and whilst all other girls were angels and one even made the dizzy heights of Mary, Miss Lashes and another little girl were made to be shepherds and wear painted-on beards and tea towels over the head. (pictured below) Blonde haired little girls floated around in white sheets with tinsel coat hanger halos, but Miss Lashes could only look on with a broken heart. There was no consoling her, not even getting to be Mary in the church nativity two weeks later. After the school nativity play was over, we took her home, tried her tears, put her in the bath, washed off the beard, dressed her in cozy pajamas and sat in front of the fire with a hot chocolate where she watched Anastasia on video before falling alseep.
Miss Lashes has been kicking back ever since. How do you think she got her blog name?! A couple of years ago, I had a look at her Amazon wish list. Item one was a book called. ”The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation (Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict)” and item two was a pair of Katy Perry false eyelashes. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up!
A staunch feminist these days, she will never give up her right to be able to express herself with makeup and beauty, and woe betide anyone that should make her dress up as a boy again.
I also found this photo of Tech Support at his first nativity held at nursery. He was clearly an unhappy shepherd too and refused to take his hand away from his face for any photograph that day. I never got to the bottom of why, but maybe he thought a shepherd in blue was too much like Mary and he was being forced to dress up as a girl. You can’t win! Either way, for whatever reason, he hated it.
Many nativities have come and gone since then. I have forced down the lump in my throat more times than I can remember as I watched them be kings, Joseph, Mary, angels, sheep, innkeepers and many more. But somehow, there will be nothing like the first ever, where a lowly shepherd grew up to be a woman in heels, false lashes and a full face of makeup every day.