For most of my life, Christmas has been about the decorations, the food, and of course, the gifts. This all changed when my daughter had first, her son Charlie, and then her daughter, Birdie. I remember people saying it worried them that they seemed to love their grandchildren more than they did their own children, and I scoffed at that. Now I know it’s true. Christmas to me is counting down the days until I get to kiss these two people.
Here is what I look forward to now. Playing “Eye Spy With My Little Eye.” Asking Birdie how big she is. Holding out a platter of cookies to Charlie and watching him as he reaches out and whispers to himself, “Only take one.” The joy in Charlie’s eyes as he opens his hundredth Transformer toy, every single one of them “his favorite.” Hugging Birdie, who still puts her head on my shoulder.
They have so much energy, it’s exhausting, so I go to my room to lie down, and in about ten minutes, I feel as if I am being watched. I open my eyes to stare into Birdie’s baby blues, peering intently at me to see if I am awake yet.
Movies in bed. Last year, we watched “Home Alone” twice. Charlie and I began watching “Lion King,” but since he had seen it multiple times, he left halfway through (Transformers to play with), and I sat there alone, transfixed.
Christmas morning. Opening gifts takes almost all day. We take breaks to go outside for a walk in the balmy LA air. There is egg casserole and lots of coffee. But the best thing is sitting on the curb and watching the neighborhood kids ride their scooters, chased by their dads. Birdie joins in, and I nearly have a heart attack. This year, I bet she will have a helmet.
Seven days. Not enough. All of you grandparents who have grandchildren nearby, I envy you with every corpuscle in my being.
Have a wonderful holiday, no matter which one you celebrate. I will be back in 2019!