Monday, December 13, 2004
Another thing I like about Christmas
In December of 1993, Cliff and I weren't at all anxious for Christmas. My son and his family, which included two grandchildren, were stationed in Germany with the Army. My daughter was living in Carthage, three hours away, with my other grandchild, Brett. Christmas, after all, is for kids, and we had no children close at hand.
One day I got a phone call from a young mother asking if I'd be interested in babysitting her little son while she was finishing her high school education. Money was pretty tight, and $50 a week would help a lot. I took the job.
If ever someone was heaven-sent into our lives, it was Kody: he was very hyper (I knew I was in trouble when I asked Jenny, his mom, "What time should I put him down for a nap?" and she answered, "He doesn't take naps." Who ever heard of a seven-month-old that doesn't take naps?
I did eventually get him to sleep for a half-hour to forty-five minutes after lunch, but that was the best I could do.
Cliff worked second shift, so he was here with Kody too, for a big part of the day. To say we doted on him would be putting it mildly. He received all the hugs, kisses and approval that our far-away grandchildren were missing out on.
Please note the big smiles on our faces, when Kody was around.
When we get out the Christmas ornaments each year, there's one silly, home-made bauble that brings "our" baby to mind. We were decorating the tree the second Christmas we had him here, and he was playing with an old piece of junk-jewelry, part of a necklace Cliff's mom had given a granddaughter to play with. The chain had been discarded, leaving only the big "pendant", two-and-a-half inches across. I was hanging things on the tree, with Kody watching intently. He somberly took the pendant to the tree and balanced it on a branch. Then he looked at me and smiled. Cliff and I thought it was amazing that he'd invent a Christmas decoration like this although, looking back, he would have been nineteen months old at the time. So I guess it really wasn't the stroke of genius we thought it was.
When I put away the ornaments that year after Christmas, I put Kody's masterpiece with them. The next year I wrote his name on the back of it, and noted the year he came up with the idea. It's now one of my favorite Christmas decorations.