A toddler with a high wattage smile spent Thanksgiving with us, her joy in exploring this new world was infectious. Attentive parents, adult friends, and a smart older sister meant someone was always available to explain her surroundings. Interactions in short sentences followed her progress around the house: “the cat eats that food,” “magnets stick to the fridge” “yes, that lid fits the pan.”
When the toddler saw something that registered, a person whose name she just learned and could pronounce, a wooden bowl full of dried beans – she turned, with that big smile, to her attending person to explain or confirm. Her encounter with the Saint Francis statue was particularly fun – who is this small stationary fellow just my size? Everything here was new – or a variation on things she knows – couches and stairs, books and chairs – Paddington’s removable clothes.
Is it a stretch to say that getting out the beginning of Christmas from storage shares just a little with the toddler’s delight in visual variety? When I put it all away last winter I wondered, will I really be glad to do this again? Enthusiastic even? Answers: yes and yes.
Observing little things became a theme here this fall – and this month is rich – from pine siskins (I counted fifteen on the rim of the bird bath, chittering the sounds of the winter forest) to all the December ways of red.
Starting with Paddington’s boots and hat – askew after the party weekend!