It was perfect, Madison’s word of choice at the moment. Perfect. Seven letters combined within the confinement of a two year old vocabulary assigned to pretty much everything in a day’s time; however, never more appropriate than to describe the outcome of the last several risings and settings of the sun.
Christmas Eve found us gathering with close friends considered family to watch their children exchange gifts with Madison and vice versa. Perhaps one of our favorite times of the year, a moment to unwind and relax with decorated cookies and casual conversation over a bottle of wine split four ways. Childhood memories trapped beneath the black and white keys of a piano were recollected if only to be recreated in living color while the rhythm of toddler footsteps down the hall and back again introduced a new melody to an otherwise classic tune. Giggles and shrieks of excitement. Noisy toys and sweet intentioned sentence fragments. A collection of sounds crafting songs for the soundtrack of our lives.
Much like our Christmas Eve tradition, Christmas morning came and went like a visit from an old friend; a conversation picked up from the same place it left off one year prior with seemingly every detail accounted for in the time between. Allison and I abandoned bedtimes throughout the last week, with the exception of Christmas Eve, in order to prolong the holiday vacation and soak in every moment we had with Madison. We hosted lunch for Allison’s family Christmas day then joined my parents at their house that evening to prove, as the saying goes, there really is no place like home for the holidays.
Over the last few days, we discovered wrapping paper remnants and bows of ribbon scattered about like a trail of joy weaving itself throughout our home. We read books cover to cover and warmed leftovers from a meal made with unconditional love. We watched a few movies numerous times until certain lines were subconsciously memorized. We built memories of colored blocks and made pallets from blankets in front of the fireplace. Allison and I explored every new addition to Madison’s toy collection through the eyes of a child and sat in the floor until our backs gently reminded us of our age. We hovered a bit more during bedtime prayers to thank God for His gift, to stress the reason for the season, to wish the baby that saved us from ourselves a very Happy Birthday.
It was a perfect Christmas. I couldn’t have said it better myself.