The first year I was a mother I had an idea at Christmas time. I would give my child, and later children, a special ornament each Christmas. By the time they were grown they would each have a nice collection to hang on their very own tree.
We have had a fun time building their collections. Every year we enjoy unwrapping these special ornaments from storage and hanging them on the tree while we recall who they were given to and when.
I have put off taking down the tree this year. This is the first year that I need to sort out the oldest child’s ornaments and set them apart. She is all grown up now and will likely have her very own tree next Christmas.
As I lay each ornament aside my memory takes me back in time. I remember a baby who loved Mickey Mouse, a growing girl who was as much an American Girl as her dolls by that name, a ballerina, a Harry Potter devotee. Each ornament pinpoints her growth and her personality. It is a bittersweet experience looking at the pile of ornaments that has grown on the mantle as I disassemble the tree.
I ache for how quickly time has gone, but I smile picturing her very own Christmas tree covered in ornaments I know so well. The thing about life is that it can go exactly as you had hoped and planned and still in that anticipated moment find you so unprepared that it takes your breath away.
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Penny for your thoughts.