Last night and today were the annual Christmas craft days with the grandkids. We had Stephen last night and the girls today (the girls had a sleepover last night to attend, and he had a party to attend this afternoon). Usually, they all come together, but Stephen always likes his exclusive time with us.
Dondra had, as usual, come up with some cute crafts for the kids to do for their parents, and it was a fun time. I worked with Stephen on the songs that he's going to do at Aunt Carolyn's for the Christmas performance. As I listened to him working on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" my mind wandered back to a little boy and girl that used to live in our house. Jeff would pick up his guitar almost as soon as he walked in the door, and we couldn't keep Dondra off the piano. As a result, they're both very gifted musicians. I see the same talent in Stephen. He catches on so quickly and seems to have a natural knack for it. He loves the time I spend with him learning new songs, or the time Pa spends with him in the garage teaching him how to bend sheet metal. In general, he just loves the time he spends with us doing special things together.
It's always been important to us, since our grandkids moved to this area, to make memories with them. We've tried to make each visit with them special in some way. And often they'll recall to us things that they especially enjoyed from years back. It's working. We're making memories for them to carry for the rest of their lives. But it's a two-way street. While we're making memories for them, they're also filling a whole treasure chest full of memories for Pa and me. Sometimes we pool them all together -- our own two precious children, and the five grandchildren. All the stories seem to entwine with the passing of years. Instead of being two separate lifetimes, it's all a big storybook filled with laughter, joy, sorrow and, most of all, family. I hope Don and I leave a wonderful heritage full of memories for all of them that my mom and dad left for me. It's, indeed, a wonderful life.