Last night of Hanukkah and the community Christmas sing with friends and family - another bright if confusing shining of my crazy interfaith life. I loved the sing tonight even though our strong mail voices were missing. I especially missed Bob - who has sung out beside be strongly and with joy so many times. It was fun hearing about the lives of old friends, catching up, even though a couple of people are having work frustrations. I loved watching Danny's joyful face as he swayed and sang with Jeannie, and KK and I laughed until we cried trying to keep up with the funny hand motions elves taught us to go along with "The Twelve Days of Christmas" This event has become a tradition and I realize I have matured into traditions. I went through a phase - maybe peaking six years ago - of wishing we didn't do so many of the same things every year or focus on holidays. I wanted more spontaneous contact with people I love and thought the choreographed contact of holidays was less rich. Now, though I still love the spontaneous contact I find myself more able to appreciate the traditions - to bask in them really. I'm glad for this change in myself.
Another event of the day was that KK danced her first Nutcracker performance, a school show, and it went well, though the small stage at the Paramount made spacing a little difficult..
So as the menorah glows full out, I answer my question number seven -
What are seven lights I hold onto from childhood, seven sweet memories that lit my way?
1. Stories - bedtime stories from both parents, read or told, Grandma Anna's kitchen stories, Grandpa Rudolf 's stories of the old country, Grandma Christine's stories in bed when I spent nights with her, and books as soon as I could read them.
2. Cooking and creating things with grownups - mostly Grandma Anna, but others too, being taught how
3. Working alongside grownups - bathing dogs with Daddy, hanging wash with Grandma Anna.
4. Word play with Daddy - I remember pet names, using the thee and thou - just quirky speech when the two of us were alone - feeling special
5. Being sewn for - special clothes Grandma Anna and especially Mama made for me all the way through high school - the attention of having my choices honored and the clothes designed just for me - the attention of being fitted, petted on, admired
6. Daddy's adventures, like the time he borrowed a sports car in the New Mexico mountains and woke me early to take me for a drive up into a cloud.
7. Playing games and singing songs with family on the back porch in West.
Last Hanukkah question.
What are eight lights I want to keep shining this year?