Monday, January 14, 2008

A Meaningful Weekend

The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone and I think I had to sing the song only a dozen times (it is one of Noah's favorites.) But the tedious carol leaves a few questions begging for answers. I'm not going to list the questions, but here are some of the answers I uncovered.
Twelve days of Christmas. Contrary to popular belief, they are not the 12 days before Christmas. They are the days between Christmas and the beginning of Epiphany (Jan.6th)
The link above gives some great information. Here's a brief look: From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Wow, that's so neat . . . inspirational even . . . or so I thought, before Snopes. I happened to notice a link to Snopes, referring to this new and interesting bit of Trivia I just learned. It dispels the myth behind the meaning, and although long, it is worth the read, if you enjoy trivia. I do, so I read it. Something I found particularly interesting is this: over the years, some misinterpretations have crept in, as they will do after 500 years, and we sing "four calling birds." This phrase was written, "four colly birds" which describe 4 birds black as coal . . . blackbirds. Also, "five golden rings" refers not to jewelry, but to 5 ring-necked birds (such as pheasants.) Now, making these corrections, the first 7 gifts are more cohesive, being all about birds. That's all I have for you. The next five gifts don't make any sense, I guess it's just a festive song about romantic gifts.

Ok, that's enough of that. This was a meaningful weekend. My tree came down and the decorations are tucked safely away for next year. This is always a melancholy time for me. I talk to the tree while I'm undressing it. (Yea, I talk to the tree; watcha gonna do 'bout it?) I thank it for giving it's life so my family could save some beautiful Christmas memories. (No, I'm not a tree hugger, but it was once alive . . .and now it's not. That deserves a little respect, don't you think?) The bottom of the trunk has been cut off and is drying, soon to be added to the other trunks from Christmases past (click here to see a nostalgic (sappy?) look at our traditions so this part will make sense to you.) Oh, and the last ornament on, was the last ornament off. (yes, another unexplainable tradition of mine. Sorry Jody. I think it's actually because I have OC tendencies. I was cataloging each ornament so as to make sure that none got thrown out with the tree.) ((Are you tired of the parenthetical thoughts yet?))
No sooner had I dragged the poor brittle thing out front than the city's midnight crew came by and scooped it up and away to it's new purpose: becoming some one's mulch for their spring flower beds. Hmmm, I wonder . . .

While my wee bairn tried her first bites of cereal (and wasn't thrilled,) my eldest marched into "big boyhood" when he lost his first tooth Sunday night.
Annabelle was more interested in the spoon and the bowl than in the strange, experience in her mouth. Very little made it into her tummy.
Friday night was traumatic for Noah as the lower, front right baby tooth loosened quite a bit, and - though I tried to prepare him for a little blood and a little pain - he was nonetheless panicked at the sight and taste of his blood and the sharp pain in his tender gums when the tooth pushed forward and would not sit back in it's little hole. When it was finally re situated, he "rested it" all day Saturday and tonight when he was brushing his teeth before bed, it just let go in his mouth.

So he put it under his pillow, (because his older and wiser cousin Madelyn did this) he knows that's the tradition, but he doesn't know why. I can't wait to see what his reaction will be in the morning. The tooth fairy was very generous because (s)he was feeling very nostalgic. Hey, the price of the first baby tooth is high, it's a big thing!

My grandparents were safely returned from SC and are now settling into their new surroundings in Mom and Dad's home. We spent the day with them today and they seem truly happy and content. This will be a great time of adjustment for all four of them though. Grandma is better and all her tests came back clear. She has a very strong ticker. It seems as though she had an adverse drug interaction between her insulin and her nitro heart pill. Thank you to all who knew of her situation and prayed for her. My apologies to anyone who did not know what had happened. Rest assured she is feeling much better and appears to be her old wonderful self.

I think that's all, I'll post pictures tomorrow. Tonight I'm just too tired. Have a great Monday, love to you all.


Brittani said...

Hey Jeny,

It was good for the most part, there were times that were a bit stressful and slow-going but you'll have that. It was an experience that I like to now have under my belt. :)
Thanks for asking!
Sounds like your weekend was full of new experiences as well.
love ya

Jayme said...

Whatchu'talkin' 'bout? You and your OC with the tree...don't worry, no one thinks you're a treehugger. So what did Noah think about getting money for his tooth? Was he disappointed that it disappeared? Will he be able to keep the secret for Bronwen?

jodyfoznot said...

What's the matter with hugging a tree every now and then? Sometimes, they hug back.

Gabriel also lost his first tooth, on Saturday! I came home from my visitation supervision responsibilities, and he ran up to me and excitedly showed me. A grown-up tooth had lost its patience and shoved its way up through the gums, knocking out the little baby tooth. I was surprised and was about to congratulate him when he said, "But I can't show it to you because I swallowed it." What? He told me that it got caught in his peanut butter sandwich and he swallowed it before he knew what had happened. He grinned, and I had a little chuckle.

He had waited anxiously for months for this rite of passage to occur, and I thought he would be so devastated at such an event (I was--now I can't save his first lost tooth! I mean, now I can't get the tooth fairy to give me back his first lost tooth!)

Worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't come, he had asked Rob, "Is the tooth fairy real?" He said, "Is Santa real?"

The next morning, he said, "Thanks, Mom!" for the dollar left under his pillow.

So while I was gone, Gabriel lost two things never to be found again: his first tooth and his belief in the tooth fairy before she ever got the chance to pay him a visit.

Christine said...

How did I miss this post?!
What precious memories! I hope Madelyn didn't ruin anything for you guys! Sometimes I forget to tell her that one of the privileges of being older is that she gets to keep secrets! ;)
Madelyn swallowed one of her teeth once, although it wasn't the first. We made a "tooth coupon" for the tooth fairy and she didn't seem to mind a bit.