It is now late fall – around Thanksgiving 1988; and David continued to be the focus of our attention – as all new parents very well know.
In this series of pictures David is “camping out” downstairs, and has his own area and lots of “little friends” to share it with him.
As any photographer will tell you, for every roll of film you’re lucky to get one or two pictures that actually have all of the elements of a good photo composition.
Just the right amount of sillyness and action along with the vivid colors and little friends in the background made these pictures turn out nicely.
It’s amazing that children can go a mile a minute for hours, and then run out of energy so completely that their sleep is so deep and pure.
The climbing roses continued to fill in the lattice work and trellis over our new back deck, and I guided the new growth by gently weaving the stems through the lattice and tying them to the posts to reach the overhead trellis.
The English Ivy completely covered the planting bed and had now started to edge the deck along the inside of the lattice.
We really appreciated the fireplace and enjoyed the ambiance that it gave to the living room – especially over the holidays.
There is something that is very basic to our inner nature to enjoy a good fire in the fireplace, and it’s these small pleasures that are the most satisfying.
David got out some kitchen plasticware and was playing with them on our new couch in the living room, and the color combinations really worked out well in these pictures.
David didn’t seem to be expecting that the lid would pop up as it did on the beverage container, and the surprise combined with not knowing if he had broken it was classic.
Christmas for us is the best time of the year, and our tree and decorations continued traditions that were well established by now for a young family.
Without losing sight of the real meaning of Christmas, the festive nature of decorations and wrapped presents provides a smorgasbord of choice for the eyes to wander through.
Although we decorate our Christmas trees with candles we don’t light them, which just isn’t worth the risk.
These decorations are the same ones that my wife and I picked out in Germany, and it is important for young families to establish their own traditions early because it helps to define who they are as a family.
This was a special Christmas for us besides the fact that David was now 22 1/2 months old – my wife’s father and David’s “Opa” was here to celebrate it with us from Germany.
Of course with an almost two year old, the majority of gifts under the tree had David’s name on them because children quickly outgrow nearly everything from clothes to toys.
My wife really enjoys decorating and wrapping gifts, so getting everything ready for young eyes to see is really exciting for new parents.
I’ll always enjoy looking at a decorated Christmas tree that is full of color and contrasts, everything that provides a delight for the eyes to focus on.
With every season there is a sense of new beginnings – fresh spring growth, summer fullness, the changing fall colors, winter contrasts – and the decorations of Christmas that rekindles the child in all of us once again.
When you’re a child you can’t wait to be “all grown up,” when the reality all too often means “losing the innocence of childhood” – which is a tragic way to go through life – and requires us to “relearn” what we’ve long forgotten.
Here our German Nutcracker stands his watch over the season of Advent and the twelve days of Christmas – as he still does faithfully each and every year in our home.
Our Nativity scene found a new home this year, moving from the mantel to the nearby chest, providing a focus for the real meaning of Christmas.
Our German light pyramid has been one of the focal points in our family’s Christmas tradition – especially in the evening with the candles lit.
David’s grandfather or “Opa” from Germany made this Christmas a special treat for us, and he and David were very close over the years.
Here David’s grandfather shows him his pocket watch which really intrigued David and held his interest for the longest time trying to see how everything worked.
David and his grandfather were able to share a lot of good quality time together over the holidays, and together we visited many of the tourist areas in and around Sacramento.
There are few things as precious as seeing a young child experiencing his or her first few Christmases – amazed at all they see and experience.
David checked everything out once the decorations and gifts were placed around the tree, and delighted in the fact that our living room was now a Christmas wonderland.
Once the time came to open his presents, David went about his duties in a very workman like manner, at times pausing to reflect on all that he was seeing and experiencing.
It’s not always easy to open things up when you haven’t had a lot of practice, so David examines the box trying to understand how to get “Big Bird” out to play with.
Unwrapping a present is such an act of discovery, and when at first you can’t figure it out the gift reveals itself a little more as the wrapping paper is pulled away.
For parents the best gift of Christmas is the shared joy of watching your child experiencing the wonder of Christmas and knowing that your family has been blessed because of it.