Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Gift

It seems a bit cliche to talk about children as these magical fairy people who can turn a frown into a smile with a flick of their wands or infect you with some sort of happiness disease that they carry in their pockets, but sometimes these things are true and bare repeating. Most of you know that my grandmother Charlotte passed away last Friday. Things like this are especially difficult when they happen around the holidays. Everyone kept saying that they hoped we could still find some joy on Christmas despite the circumstances, and the truth is, we did, and it couldn't have happened without the opportunity to witness the pure excitement oozing from every tiny pore of the children in our lives.

My very best girlfriend in the whole world, Jessica, spent the holiday with us and she said that she couldn't wait to watch Ella, Mason, and Izzy open their presents on Christmas morning because it had been such a long time since she had witnessed that excitement with little kids. And it really was something to behold. Izzy, being 4, was the only one able to really verbalize her joy, "a shirt with zebra stripes!" but the looks on Ella and Mason's faces as they opened their Elmo books and tiny trucks spoke volumes without any words. And this is the greatest gift that children give us- the opportunity to remember and experience that kind of joy once again and to forget about everything else and just live in the moment of opening that gift. I cannot say we didn't feel an emptiness that day. I cannot say we didn't feel a wave of emotion every now and then, but I can honestly say that watching the glint in Ella's eyes as she ran through the house chasing her cousins helped me spend a lot more time thinking about life rather than death. That's what Ella B gave me for Christmas. And it was exactly what I wanted.

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