The tree is up. Fun finished his first college semester. Speedy finished his second to last university semester. Buff is nearly done high school. Violinist celebrates his first Christmas as a married man this year. We have a new daughter, Roll Kuchen. That reality didn't really sink in until the day I viewed the family photos. There she was. Another woman in the photo. I reached out and ran my finger over the photo. It's real. Not just me. I smiled. I cried. Finally, my girl.
Violinist's baby sock. Saucey Chef gave them to him in his first year. There aren't a lot of things to hang on the tree - the wooden baby rattle my mother gave me. She was like that. Interesting and practical. And all those little sweaters she knit, I gave them away. Maybe they should have been kept. But I did keep a red sock she knit and it's on the tree. Now she's gone. I thought there were more, but maybe those were in a box I gave away one year - a single woman with a little girl.
Fun just came in from the shop. He is always hiding in the shop this time of year. Building. Planing. Sawing. He needs GG's help with something out there. There are his workboots on the kitchen floor. Here are his little booties I'm about to hang on the tree. Fun is sturdy - tree stumps for limbs. What was I thinking to have put these ridiculous things on that man child? Fun was never a baby. The telephone interrupts.
"Violinist? What a nice surprise!"
"Hello mother, I saw a friend's father just a few minutes ago. He leaves for Afghanistan in the spring."
"As a medic?"
"No, Mom. No...I love you Mom."
"I love you too."