Do Not Be Afraid – Christmas 2011


But the Angel said, “Do not be afraid.”

Have you noticed how this is a recurring message?  Of course, having an angel suddenly appear in front of you is probably very frightening, but I think there is more to it than that.

Do not be afraid.

I think we all have a lot of fears.  I think we are insecure.  I think that this world can be a scary place.  I know I do and I am and it is for me.

Do not be afraid.

What is it that you are afraid of right now, this Christmas?  What are the angels telling you not to fear?

I know of what I am afraidI am afraid of being Bandicoot’s mother.  I am afraid that Little Princess will grow up to be like Bandicoot.  I am afraid that Possum is growing up too fast.

Do not be afraid.

I am afraid of going to stay with my in-laws for Christmas.  I am not afraid of my parents-in-law.  They love me and I love them, even if it is often hard work, if sometimes we seem like strange creatures to each other and rub each other the wrong way.

I am afraid of exposing Bandicoot to people who do not love him as much as we do, who cannot accept his uniqueness as we do.  I am afraid of the judgement that I will (and I do) receive as a parent to such a spirited child.

Poor Bandicoot.  We call him our Wild Child.  That is an affectionate term for the turmoil we often feel.  As you have heard before, he suffers from Can’t-Sit-Still, from My-Body-Seems-To-Be-Bigger-and-Stronger-Than-I-Realised, from BUT-THIS-IS-MY-QUIET-VOICE, from Oh-Were-You-Talking-To-Me?-I-Was-Busy-Doing-This-Thing-That-Now-Seems-To-Have-Made-You-Angry, from Desperate-Need-For-All-Your-Attention-All-The-Time

He is also very, very loving.

He is the kind of kid who would thrive as an only child.  If I could give him the attention he craves, he would just about always be well behaved.  At least well enough behaved that I would be able to visit people occasionally.

But he’s not.  He is sandwiched between two other kids, close in age.

And the result is a nightmare.  Disobedience, yelling, kids crying, Mummy in tears…

But now we have to take it out of the house.  Out of our safe and private space.  And not just out in public where no-one knows us.  We have to take it to functions that involve lots of people, excitement, party food, tiredness.  We have to be around people not used to such live-wires (or at least, not used to them anymore!)  We need to spend extended periods of time with people who are very uncomfortable around our kids (it is sad but true that many of our siblings are in this category). And I am afraid.

In short, we need to EXPOSE our family’s dirty little secret… we are not perfect. 

Do not be afraid.

We love, we cry, we muddle, we ARE.  And we need to be accepted by those close to us as we are, not judged, not lectured and PLEASE, do NOT take it upon yourself to SMACK our Bandicoot.

I am very frightened.

Do not be afraid.

Can you accept this gift of peace this Christmas?


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