Sunday, December 25, 2011

A star, a star...shining in the night...

It was seven years ago, today.

Our oldest Granddaughter, Julia, was two and a half and her sister, Riley, was just a little over one.

I had gone to babysit as I did three times each week.

The little girls were sick. Their cheeks were glowing and glorious. I remember how pretty they were…red hair damp and curly from their slight fevers.

In the process of sick children, our daughter-in-law had not had time to finish decorating the tree. It sat in the corner bedraggled and sad awaiting finery that had not yet appeared.

I had warmed the bathroom up and put the girls in a lukewarm tub to play. They were quite occupied with bath crayons. Julia was happily scribbling away while Riley attempted to eat the spongey red and blue discs.

Suddenly, mid-scribble, Julia stopped and got very serious, “Gwamma, this is my sad face.” I asked her immediately, “Why do you have a sad face?” and she replied with great sincerety, “No staw, Gwamma.”

I didn’t understand her, so I asked her again. “No staw, Gwamma,” she repeated, blue eyes big and solemn.

“No straw, Julia? You want a straw?” She patiently repeated it to me, slowly, like I was a very dumb adult, “No staw on twee, Gwamma,” then she held up the yellow and blue bath crayons and pantomimed drawing in the air. “Mine color a staw for twee, Gwamma,” she said. She had a little trouble with her pronouns back then.

I got them out of the tub, cuddling their sweet slippery, clean baby chubbiness in fuzzy bath towels. After they were dressed all warm and cozy in their tiny, blue jeans, turtlenecks and slipper socks it was snack time. After half-heartedly consuming a few crackers, Julia started again. “Gwamma. I sad. No staw on tree.”

So I commenced a search for paper, crayons, and glitter which was mostly futile. After much digging I finally found a manilla folder, some little kid’s crayons, a yellow highlighter and some glitter tubes.

We sat at their little table. Julia colored and colored and colored with crayons and the yellow highlighter all over that manila folder where I had drawn a big star for the top of the tree. While she colored Riley ‘helped’ by attempting to eat the crayons and making that gaggy, stick-out-your-tongue face that seems synonymous with trying to dine on crayolas.

Finally, finally yellow highlighter, multi-colored crayon squiggles and a few bath crayon accents completed a magnificent star. The glitter pens were dried up but Julia didn’t care. She thought her star was perfect.

After watching me carefully cut all the way around the outline of the star, Julia looked at me with a solemn face and pointed at the top of the tree. I lifted her up high into the air and after a few seconds deliberation she finally knew where she wanted to put it.

As I lowered the sweet weight of her down her peach soft cheek brushed against mine.

Safely on the ground, she put her chubby starfish hands onto her tiny jean clad hips. “Oh,” she said softly, “Gwamma, is a staw…” and her beautiful round blue eyes just sparkled with happiness.

I will never forget her face in that moment.

I will never forget the glorious satisfaction she found from a manila folder and a yellow highlighter.

Each year since when I place the angel on the top of our tree, I think of Julia and her ‘staw’…

And I am determined to find Christmas in my heart…

No matter how hidden away it seems to be some years..

Bless you, my dear friends. You have lightened my heart this year, shared my silliness, shared my sorrows and have offered acceptance and reassurance in an extremely difficult time of my life.

Even when you haven’t known it, there have been so many times you have been the star on top of my tree. I thank you for that and I send each of you the wish and the hope that each of you has a star adding joy to your life this holiday season.

Merry Christmas.

post signature


Terra said...

A very Merry Christmas to you and Steve and all the grands Miss Jenny.

Sharon said...

Wishing you all the joy and happiness you deserve! Thanks for being a star to me on more than one occasion. God Bless, and Merry Christmas!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Thank you for beautiful post, even if I did cry. You have been one of my stars. ~ Maureen

☼ Carolina ☼ said...

.......♥*................ __/\__
.......*♥............… ..*-:¦:-*
...~`,`~.................. |
¸....✫................... *•*
´¸.•✫ .............. *♥•♫•♫♥*
~`,`~............. ✯♥•♦♫♥•♥*.
`.✫`.............. *♥☺♥•♥•☺♥*.
/ \....................... ╬╬╬╬

Feliz Navidad!!

Vicki/Jake said...

Julia uttered the perfect words that day...
You truly are a star Jenny and I'm one of the blessed trees you adorn:) Have a wonderfilled day!

anitamombanita said...

tears in my eyes...what a great story. Merry Christmas, Jenny. You aw a staw!!

Unknown said...

The star is the perfect reminder of what has lead millions to find the true meaning of Christmas!

Great post!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Dear sweet Jenny, your stories touch my life in ways you can't imagine! I now have a little sweet smile on my face as I remember my girls and decorating the tree and the colored ornaments they made and were so proud of. I still have them of course! Sending you much Joy this year! hugs, Linda

Judie said...

You MY staw, Miss Jenny!!!

Ms. A said...

You are the light that shines from the staw! Shine on, Jenny, shine on! Merry Christmas!

Ames said...

I loved this story Jenny. I could actually see those fevered little faces with damp red curls. Children are so innocent and the closest to God's pure love. Blessings and Merry Christmas day!~Ames♥

Theresa said...

You are certainly the "STAW" on my tree:) You make me giggle ALL the time! Hope you are having lots of happy smiles in your heart! Hugs and thanks for sharing this sweet memory with me!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

That is a very sweet story, and I hope it does bring Christmas cheer into your heart!

Unknown said...

Merry christmas Jenny! I am glad you got their star.....

J said...

that is the sweetest story.

merry christmas, jenny. :)

Naperville Now said...

lovely, Jenny. Merry Christmas.

To the Toy Box and Beyond said...

What a sweet story Merry Christmas

Neabear said...

I love that story! What a wonderful memory to have of your precious granddaughter!


Pondside said...

The sweet memories, Jenny!
You are definitely one of the staws on my tree of life!

H said...

HUG - and I sincerely hope that 2012 is much less difficult than 2011!

21 Wits said...

..such as you too, Miss Jenny have been my most favorite star of the year.....we are so blessed in such great earthly delights!

Unknown said...

What a sweet story:-) I hope you & your family had a merry Christmas & may this New Year have great things in it for you & your family!

Susan Anderson said...

You are kind of a "staw" yourself, Jenny.

Merry Christmas to you.


Busy Bee Suz said...

this is so heartwarming Jenny. Wonderful memories...
I am trying to get caught up, I do hope you are all doing well!