Christmas tree branch // assorted presents
Byron dragged home a dead tree branch, with panting puppy in tow following their afternoon run on Wednesday. I hosed the sand from the bare, lifeless wood as twigs snapped away under the water pressure. I needn't have bothered as the afternoon storm brought a brief, heavy downpour in the early evening.
On Thursday B lugged the branch up the stairs and set about arranging large white stones about the base to secure the 'tree' vertically. With one arm snug around our babe, I began to hang the strings of homemade decorations, which I had crafted over the years from colourful glass beads and collected seashells carefully threaded together with fishing line.
B wound strings of coloured LED lights arounds the thicker limbs and after an hour we stood back, our little family of three to marvel at Love's first seaside Christmas tree.
I've gradually been collecting items for the children next door. Gifts to stimulate learning, encourage outdoor play and respect for nature. For Master Three: a (wrapped) box of interactive flashcards with sliding picture panels to assist with speech and reading; for Master Six: a frisbee (call me enthusiastic, but I hope to introduce him to the fun of Ultimate Frisbee) and a Where's Wally picture and puzzle book. I decided on the puzzle book after a recent visit where I cut my walk short due to the ominous dark storm clouds approaching from the west. I watched him circle letters in a find-a-word, his short, lean body tummy-side-down on the carpet, knees bent with wriggly-toed feet bobbing in the air, his tongue poking out, smearing saliva across his lower lip and chin. I don't think he would have noticed we were there had I not asked him what he was doing... For Miss Six: a beautiful green succulent with the prettiest purple flowers in a glazed cobalt blue terracotta pot. Somewhere, deep in the darkest corners of my wardrobe lies a small array of colourful gemstones to add to her growing collection for crystal healing.
Finally, there are thrifted clothes and handmade presents yet to be wrapped, including neatly framed hand and footprints taken of Love when she was 29 days old. These prints are reserved for our nearest and dearest who, we hope, will treasure the tiny black splotches on stiff, white paper torn from my art book. These prints will be accompanied by the story of how Byron and I found ourselves covered in smears of sticky black paint as we attempted and failed time and time again to make accurate impressions of our newborn's tiny hands and feet. I recall how she curled her tiny hands into a fist and scrunched her tiny toes as we pressed the paper against her skin, silently rejoicing, mouths agape, with each toe print we managed to transfer. Three toes this time! Getting closer! We smiled at each other before applying a lick or two of more paint to her feet in deft brush strokes.
Anyone who may view our earlier attempts could be forgiven for thinking we had birthed a mutant single-toed baby...
So that has been our life lately. How about you? Any fun stories? Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you have a strange or more traditional tree? Any stories about attempting artworks with babies? I'd love to read about it in the comments below.
Happy Summer, folks.
Oceans of love,