Sandpaper Man has returned.
I found him living in a cardboard box filled with old family photos. He has been AWOL from the Christmas tree for over a decade.
My son made the gingerbread man-shaped ornament when he was in elementary school. He is adorned with lines and globs of red and white puff paint, a piece of red yard strung through the hole in his head, and my son’s name scrawled on his backside in red crayon. Sandpaper Man’s younger brother (made by my daughter the year she had the same second grade teacher) has been unpacked, hung, and packed back up every year since she brought him home to meet the family. After all this time, it’s nice to have the older one back where he belongs. He’s hanging out on a branch right next to his brother. They look glad to see each other.
Christmas is coming. I am behind on almost everything this year even though I do about half the baking and shopping that I did when the kids were younger. In the mad, glittery rush of the season and with a kitchen counter top full of flour and cookie dough, I am trying to keep perspective and appreciate more fully the small miracles hidden in plain sight all around me. I’m trying to remember what matters.
Things like Faith and Family. Traditions. And a little brown Sandpaper Man painted carefully by the hands of a little brown boy so very long ago.