Month: December 2012

It Works!

Grant2 This past Sunday, my family had their Christmas party, a time of food, gifts, and fun watching the kids, commenting on how much they’ve grown just since Thanksgiving. We met at my aunt and uncle’s and they have a large, open floor plan and a huge yard for the kids to run around in. I got some great footage of the kids racing from one end of the lawn to the other. After they had worn themselves out a bit, we opened presents. Adelyn and Garrett vied for packages to hand out to family members so, of course, the opening of gifts was mass chaos as the kids ran back and forth. Grant sat in his Daddy’s lap and my brother helped him open his gifts. He is 2 ½, just one month younger than Adelyn. At first, the gift he was most excited about was a set of board books in a collector’s box that was similar to a lunchbox. He said, “I’m going to take this to my work.” “You’re work?” “Yes!” We didn’t even know he held down a job, but we are assuming he meant daycare. He carried them around proudly for quite some time with the latch loosening occasionally and spilling the books onto the floor. He would carefully pick them all up and put them in backwards as kids do.
My brother decided to open the remote control police car I had gotten Grant for Christmas, just to see what he would do with it. He wanted to teach him how to use a remote control. I got out the batteries, handing them to my brother. Once he flipped the switch on the car, lights and sirens sounded. Grant was intrigued, but it wasn’t until the car began to move that hilarity ensued. My brother had the controller and raced the car down the hall. Grant shrieked, “It works!” and took off after it. He caught it, carried it back to the leather couch and with total delight on his face, watched as it moved back and forth. Then he put it down on the carpet where movement speed is impeded, but once it got off the carpet and onto the tile floor, it sped down the hall again. Sometimes he would crawl, and sometimes he would run, but every time Grant would shriek, “It works!” with total delight in that gravelly voice of his. The process of bringing it to the couch, putting it on the carpet, and then chasing it down the hall was repeated several times. Then my brother said, “Come here, Grant-Grant. I’ll show you how it works. Bring your car over.” Grant dutifully carried his car over, but as soon as Greg would hit the button to make it go, off Grant would run, chasing it. Greg even tried to steer it back between Grant’s legs, but Grant was pretty quick and would catch it, holding it up proudly.
Grant didn’t want to know how it worked. As far as he was concerned, that car was magical and would race away from him for no apparent reason other than for him to catch it. Every time my brother tried to show him how it worked, he refused to listen. He just wanted to chase it. We all laughed and laughed repeatedly as he would tear off after it. What did I learn? Christmas is a magical time of year. For some it is more difficult than others. I do acknowledge that. But there are magical things happening all around us whether you see it with charities raising unexpected funds, people recovering from tragedy, or the Christ child in Bethlehem. It is the time of year to believe in magic and allow ourselves to be mystified by the glory of it. What is your magical Christmas experience, whether from this year or years past? Please share in the comments section. Refuse to see the remote control this year and just believe in magic!


Adelyn’s Request

Adelyn is, for now at least, my favorite niece. I can say that fairly because she is my only niece unless my sister-in-law has a girl in May. Adelyn is my sister and brother-in-law’s only child and, therefore, extraordinarily special. A month ago today on Veteran’s Day, Brenda and Adelyn came to visit me and spend the day shopping and playing. I wish I could show you a picture of her, but for understandable reasons, Brenda and Brett do not wish for their daughter’s image to be made available on the internet and I respect that wish. I will tell you a little about her before I tell you the story I want you to hear. On command, Adelyn will make one of two faces—the cute face and the mad face. The cute face consists of her folding her hands under her chin, tilting her head to one side like a puppy and smiling really big while opening her brown eyes as wide as they will go. The mad or mean face is where she puckers her lips into a mean looking frown, squints her eyes, and crosses her arms across her chest, much like her mother used to do when she was mad at that age. She talks quite a bit and is quite eloquent for a 2 ½-year-old. She smiles and laughs a lot and is usually talked out of a rage fairly easily. She is quite a sweet and thoughtful girl, too, as you will soon find out.

As soon as the knock came at the door, the cats scattered. They do not like strangers. And as soon as they heard a small child’s voice, the boys dove under the bed, for they do not like small children in the least. Iris is the only one who will play with a child. I don’t know if it is out of sheer curiosity or if she really doesn’t mind children that badly. Adelyn, as far as I know, had never gotten to play with a kitty before. We showed her the “fishing pole” and unlike other children, she didn’t wave the stick end in Iris’s face. She actually waved the “boa” with the feathers on the end around, and much to her delight, after a few shy moments, Iris played with her. I had gotten out some crayons and paper and I asked her to color some pictures for me. My favorite is the one where she was trying to trace her hand and Mommy helped. Mommy helped her sing her Sunday school songs as well so I could hear what she had learned. She colored for quite a while and then played with Iris some more before we went shopping. She was fairly quiet in the stores and even fell asleep long enough for Brenda to show me what Adelyn wanted most fervently for Christmas (the wish has been fulfilled and I will be giving it to her on Sunday). Upon coming back to the apartment, she played with Iris, colored one more picture, and then left.

When she arrived home, her daddy, Brett, inquired as to what she did that day. She said she played with a kitty and had a birthday party. Apparently she had been longing for another birthday party for quite some time (her birthday isn’t until May) and I gave it to her! I have no idea what I did to make her day so special as to tell her daddy she had a party, but apparently it left an impression on her.

Ever since then, on some nights as she is saying her prayers, she will pray for me. My sister will get her started with “God bless Mommy, Daddy, and Adelyn” and she throws in “and Aunt Marsha!” Sometimes she will list off some of her day care friends, but include me at the end. It isn’t every night, but it has occurred several times. I sent her a card thanking her for her prayers and gave her a picture of herself at my house. I told her I pray for her, too, that she’ll eat more food and be healthy and strong (she’s a picky eater). When she got my card, she recounted an event from her visit here of how a kitty (Iris) tried to drink her milk. She remembers every detail.

So what did I learn from this 2 ½ -year-old girl? I learned that intercessions with God can come from anyone anywhere, even those you don’t expect. I’ve been having some problems of my own and I am convinced that God whispered in her ear and told her I needed her prayers. Nothing inspires you like having someone that young who barely even knows who God is, yet believes in him wholeheartedly, pray for you. I learned that God sends his answers in small packages like Adelyn. Her request did not fall on deaf ears. If God doesn’t hear the simple prayers of a 2 ½-year-old, then who does he hear? If Adelyn believes in God when she barely knows anything about him, then certainly I can believe. I have been raised since the cradle to believe and it was so much easier as a child. Now I get to relive that childlike belief through her and my nephews. I am inspired by Adelyn’s request that God watch over me and now I know I will get through these tribulations of mine with God’s help. I, too, must ask God to help me, for I have trouble praying for myself. But if Adelyn can remember to pray for me, I can remember to pray for me, too. Thanks be to God!