One of the gifts that our creator gives to us is our individualism. None of us, although many, are not exactly alike. Differences are good, and if they were not, we would not have been created this way. Uniqueness is special. Yesterday, we continued on our path of getting prepared for Christmas. And, because we had both boys to care for, we decided to create our own unique gingerbread house. The candy of course, had to be handpicked due to the nut sensitivity of both boys. Although the recipe called for egg whites and cream of tartar, we skipped those two ingredients, because we will eat the candy tonight and for the next twelve days for as long as it lasts. Instead, I purchased the ready-made frosting in the tube. It worked out just fine without the worry of salmonella poisoning.
The grandsons are seven going on eleven, and three years old. One is definitely an engineer and we knew he'd only be interested in it's construction and planning. The other loved doing the actual art work and design. The house was actually put together the night before in order that it would be sufficiently jelled. The remaining work took most of the morning to complete. The oldest, planned out where the road, fence line, and green cone shapped trees would be. It also had to have a natural pond. The little one wanted a snowman.
We set the house on the left side, making plenty of room for the snow, driveway, fencing and water. The fence surrounded the entire house. Nate, made the road out of rice krispies. The water was made from blue icing, with waves running through it. The aluminum covered tray was decorated with white icing for snow, except where the driveway ran along side the house. The fence was held up by large white marshmallow which supported the inserted, large pretzel sticks. On each of the joints was a pretzel shaped tree. There are two large stars on the roof of the house on each end. Two large bells grace the front of the house as yard decorations.
The youngest, Ryan, placed with precision vivid colored candy, gum drops and cereal all over the house. He was a stickler for detail, like that on the box, right down to the doorknob. When it came to the marshmallow snowman, he broke pretzels and inserted them in for the arms. I could not believe the level of talent that he displayed at three.
Somewhat of a perfectionist, he showed great concern for spacing, and color design as well as finding the right candy for the area that he was working on. Ryan, did all this standing on his foot stool while going around the round table. Meanwhile, Nate was off watching television about "weather." He has a more scientific mind.
Surprisingly, there wasn't a lot of mess to clean up as Ryan was very careful, especially with his sleeves. I'm still at awe at his creative ability.
Later, we took the kids to their Christmas party, where we knew Santa would be making an appearance. Nate, from the beginning has been dreaming of all the toys he wants. We hear about them all the time. Yet, Ryan does know that Santa will be bringing him some as he is a good boy, but doesn't talk about the toys he wants. In fact, before we left, we knew he wanted nothing to do with Santa.
While at the party, Nate was having a ball playing with the other kids, while Rye was busy in his kitchen preparing food for the guests. He did not eat while everyone else snacked on pizza and other goodies. Nate, upon seeing his mother arrive from Boston, said "what are you doing here?" I thought it was a strange question, since many of the other parents were present. Poor Angie, and for all she does for those boys, too. Ryan, on the other hand, was glad to see his mommy. He had spent the entire time bringing his make believe delights to those in attendance at the party. Now, he would be held by mommy, as Santa had arrived. Santa is a stranger. Although every other kid sat on his lap and was given a toy, it did not appeal to Rye. I offered a few solutions, but apparently not this year.
It is rare for us to see Rye display such shyness as he is never like that when with us, his grandparents. At one point, while he distributed ice cream cones to attendees, a boy took away the holder and cones from him. He did not argue the point, walking away. He just let them go and displayed a look of hurt. The father of the other boy saw it, and asked him to given them back to Ryan. Sensitive, loving and caring Ryan, yet tough and strong. He can never do enough to help us.
Later, when my husband John and I were in discussion about the party, he said that "Ryan was a good boy." Maybe someday he'll own a restaurant or perhaps be a chef. Who knows what the future will bring. One thing I've noticed about Ryan is that he always shows concern for others. We could all learn a thing or two from him.
Often during the day, Ryan tells me that "he is a good man." We don't know where he got this as it is an unusual comment from a three-year-old. His comments reflect his sweetness. Yet, he likes hockey, and wants to tackle grandma all the time. We know he can take care of himself, he's fearless.
I can't wait for both of them to see their gifts tonight. We try to give them what we think they'll like. They are both so precious and so different, and they are so special.
Almost A Minyan
2 months ago