My granddaughter, Melody, is at an age when she is most impressionable. Believe me. She continues to talk about our trip last spring to the zoo where she saw the elephants pooping. She is also at the age when Christmas memories, with their sights and sounds, will remain with her for a lifetime.
Last Christmas, she ran into our house and headed straight for the living room. Her jaw dropped, and then a big smile broke out as she slowly looked up to the top of the Christmas tree.
“Would you like to see the tree up close?” I asked.
She ran to my arms and I lifted her up next to the tree. Her eyes glowed as she took a deep breath and smiled. This was a new vantage point for her. Now in the stratosphere, she floated around the tree like an angel. I showed her my favorite ornaments while she reached out to touch a bell or a sparkling orb.
Melody and Granddad Larson
The Christmas visit to our house was an adventure for Melody. Her outstretched arms and tiny fingers reached for figurines and decorations, always probing and touching with fascination. She never tired of playing with the snow globes or asking me to rewind the music boxes.
“Granddad, can I have a cookie?” she would ask. “Can I have two cookies?”
I handed her the sugar cookies and watched them crumble in her hands and mouth as she ate them quickly.
With more energy to burn, she ran around in circles and her outstretched arms appeared before me.
“Granddad, can I see the Christmas tree?”
I picked her up every time she asked, and we looked at the ornaments together. I saw them through her eyes, viewing the sparkling tree as if I were two years old. Her fascination with the tree remained the entire visit, which seemed much too short. As quickly as the house had been filled with grandkid’s energy, it returned to its normal state, with the dog once again curling in his favorite spot to sleep in the sun at the front door.
Gretta and I finally boxed up the ornaments and packed the tinsel for next year, and I hauled the tree to the recycle center at the park.
On Melody’s next visit in the spring, she burst into the house and ran on tip-toes to the living room where she abruptly stopped. She peered around the room, then with a serious voice and sad eyes she turned to me and asked, “Granddad, where’s the Christmas tree?”