Friday, December 27, 2013

Precious Trinkets

The week after Christmas is a strange place in time. Calmer, more relaxed, and hopefully the little gray cells are full of new and wonderful events stored away to become beloved memories. Our December was packed, but some little thoughts and visions crept in at odd times.

Like at our grandson’s Winter Concert.

Sam plays tenor sax. He’s eleven. We sat in the balcony in the auditorium at Albany Academy and watched the kids file in. Nicely dressed, they were, and eager to perform. We could barely see the boy, but that sax poked over the head of the kid in front of him, bobbing away, so we knew he was playing. It occurred to me, as it does to every grandmother, that kids grow up too fast (well – except when they’re two months old and have been screaming for forty five minutes at 2:00 a.m. and you have to get up in four hours. Right then you wish they were already twelve). But you get the idea.

So the program rolled along, and finally it came time for the band to exit stage left and as Sam neared the doorway he turned and looked in our direction – briefly. But in that quick second I had a vision of a sandy haired three-year- old standing next to me eight years ago. We were trying to decide what else to draw on a big cardboard box, the one he’d soon crawl into to play. We had a door, and flowers and windows, but something was lacking.

“How about a ladybug, Sam?” I asked, magic marker in hand.

“No, gramma, I don’ like ladybugs,” he said in his precious toddler voice.

“Uh,oh,” I said, full of concern. I could still crouch down in those days, so I did. His soft eyes looked into mine. “Why don’t you want a ladybug, Sam?”

“They make me nuurvice,” he said  with the “uur” pronounced and drawn out.

I had to stop thinking too hard about that right then. No sense puddling my sentimental tears right there in the Academy balcony seat. I looked away because that small tender boy is gone, he only lingers in my grandma heart as one of many memory trinkets – piling up as the years pass.  I know there’s a decent young man emerging and that makes me so proud. But still.

And then on Christmas day. Anna, who is eight and Sam’s sister, wanted a mermaid tail for Christmas more than anything this year. As she sat in her dad’s recliner, her legs proudly stretched through the long shimmering turquoise tube with fins on the end, I had another flash. Anna at four standing for a picture in a black velvet dress holding a single yellow rose. We were at a church dinner. Her hair was long and curly then and she looked beautiful – totally unaware that at that moment her little girl loveliness was burning a memory in Grandma’s heart. I want to reach back through time and grab her for a hug. I guess I’ll have to learn to hug mermaids now. 

Before I go all “grandma” on you with stories about all six of them, I’ll stop myself. Because I know you do this, too, if you’re a parent, a grandparent, a wonderful aunt or uncle,caring teacher. The odd, poignant flashes come to you, too, don’t they?

Yes, they grow too fast. As we did. And time is a cruel taskmaster bidding us march to its tune, however reluctantly. I think, at Creation, God must have realized this, so He programmed in memory banks to allow visions and brief moments when grandsons turn and look at  you from the ripe old age of eleven and granddaughters' morph into Flipper. It all makes you realize how wonderful your world is.

Please share the memories that this Blessed Season sparked for you. 

PS: There's one from friend and fellow blogger Linda O'Connell here

Image: Free Digital Photos


  1. Susan, this is so heart touching. I know exactly how you feel. Time is passing so quickly. When all our grandchildren were over for Christmas I looked at them with awe. They tower over me and are good people! Those wonderful sweet childhood memories fill me to
    the brim with emotion. I found our oldest grandson's book he made when he was 8 complete with illustrations. I showed him and we had to smile at how his pictures reflect his accomplishments, especially the long-long-long truck dualie which he just bought.

    Thank you for the shout out!

    1. Linda, you are sooo welcome! You inspire me always. There's nothing quite like being a grandparent, is there? Thank you for sharing your own Christmas miracle!

  2. I know this feeling. Sure do. Sometimes I feel like Mary, "pondering these things" in my heart. Like treasures.

  3. Wow, yes, I can relate! Had two separate flashbacks recently with my sons. The oldest is 31, the next turned 30 in October, and I saw them with little blond heads doing little boy was all I could do to hold it together. As my grandfather used to say, "Time marches on." It surely does.

    Happy New Year! :)

    1. Karen, our hearts are nearly broken by the sweetness of them sometimes, isn't it? Thanks so much for your own memory! Happy New Year back! Hugs.

  4. This is a sweet post, Susan. Is your granddaughter a Princess Ariel fan? My younger daughter is a huge Ariel fan.

    For better or worse, I am very conscious of the passage of time. I take pictures--a lot--and make photo albums to capture milestones and special events. Whenever my husband gives me a smile at the arrival of yet another photo album in the mail, I tell him the pictures help me cope with the passage of time and the kids growing up. Time marches on, so might as well prepare ourselves and preserve our memories in whatever way we can, right? ;-)

    I enjoyed reading this post. Wishing you a joyous New Year.

    1. Janette, what a wonderful tribute to your children to capture their lives in pictures. And there are so many ways to do that now! In the years to come you and hubby will be so glad of those albums. Hoping your new year is wonderful!

  5. I hug them both so much because I see them growing up and away. I hope I am not too crazy when they leave the nest :) Thank you for the memories!

  6. I hug them both so much because I see them growing up and away. I hope I am not too crazy when they leave the nest :) Thank you for the memories!

    1. Kate, they'll pull enough stunts that leaving the nest probably won't be as bad as you think. =0) I'll be there to console you in either case! You're welcome.