Each year, as part of our Christmas decorating, I pull out the file that holds all of the Santa pictures. I display them on the bookshelf in our “library” for all to see.
They start with our first born, wearing a beautiful sweater my aunt knit and mailed to me. It arrived the very day I was going to take him for his first picture. Santa was a Saint Nicholas, with long robes, a real beard and a magic touch with children. At 8 months old, his huge grin seems to take up the whole picture.
Our daughter’s first pic is of a two month old with a dubious look on her face, and this year baby looks very serious, having taken a good long look at the man upon whose lap he was sitting.
My very favorite of the pictures though is one we took of the kids three years ago. It was shortly after the picture was taken, while we were waiting for it to be printed and they were sitting on a mall bench. Mr. Eldest has one knee raised, with his arm casually leaning on it. His hair is brushed and gleaming, and his eyes are clear. Most importantly he is looking at the camera, and his face is perfectly relaxed and calm.
It’s not an expression we see often on his face. He doesn’t often look directly at anyone, and I can’t recall seeing such a peaceful expression from him.
It might have been one of those fleeting expressions that are so often caught on camera, but I prefer to think that it was my son having one of those awesome days where he is truly shining through.
I have recorded many of our challenges here, and yes they are still ongoing in varying degrees. We are working with many people, to differing degrees of success.
Today though I wanted to share with my readers a positive experience. A warm and fuzzy memory that causes a thrill each year when I unpack that file and put up the pictures. It doesn’t matter that the holiday is over, or that I’ve packed the pictures away. Stored separately from the decorations, I might occasionally, on a dark day, sneak a peak at the pics so that I can see that serene expression and know that yes everyone in our home can find their peace.