As anyone who has ever had small children taking part in a nativity play can attest there is always much excitement in the maternal bosom when your child comes home with the dreaded piece of paper announcing their starring role in this year's event. Apart from anything else, this particular maternal bosom tends to droop rather when sewing is suggested (one year no 2 was a star and the request came back for a white shirt with stars sewn on it. I was rather pleased with my pathetic effort till I sat next to the mother whose child had a whole galaxy sewn neatly onto hers), it usually droops further to discover that yet again said child is playing an angel (that's what happens when you have fair haired girls) and has to be cheered up because she's not Gabriel or Mary.
What every maternal bosom of course wants to proudly declare is that this year their daughter is Mary - there is such hot competition for the part sometimes I swear there'll be blood spilt in the playground. However, I am a woman of common sense and I know that my children have no more chance of being Mary then flying to the moon. Besides, given that I always got to be a shepherd, I think they should be bloody grateful for being angels myself.
So imagine my surprise when no 3 came home from school yesterday with a big announcement.
Yup. After nine years of trying and watching more nativities nearly then I've had Christmas dinners I've finally achieved maternal nirvana. I have a Mary.
Better watch my back in the playground then...