It’s 4:05pm, and I finally placed the remnants of lunch in the refrigerator. I also found myself telling my oldest to go watch more TV. (Really? Did I just say the words “I don’t have time to fast forward through that segment right now. You’ll just have to watch it.”) It hasn’t been an overly crazy day, but I’ve been running behind since one of my children thought it was a good idea to jump off our living room lazy boy, hoping to land on our newly acquired bean bag, an act that I’ve told both children never to do. Well, said child did not alight on the bean bag; instead she performed a lovely carpet face plant which incurred broken glasses and a bloody nose, marring our beige carpet with numerous scarlet splatters. Thankfully the words “I’ll never do that again” came between the sobs, so we didn’t have to scold. Pretty sure the lesson was learned— at least for a week or two.

That face plant actually occurred last night, but the glasses repair had to wait until 10am this morning when Lenscrafters opened. This meant extra running around and time away from the things I had tightly planned for the day. The morning was choppy at best between errands, phone calls, emails and trying to get everyone packed to go away for the weekend — Daniel and myself to Pittsburgh for a wedding, the kids to my parents’ house.

Already running behind, I put Ian in his room for his quiet time/sometimes nap around 2pm which he wasn’t happy about. I went back to the computer to finish some odds and ends and to get ready to be the “Mystery Reader” in Alice’s classroom later that afternoon. About 20 minutes into nap time, I heard a crack from Ian’s room, and something hit the floor. Hhhmmm – what was that? My thoughts turned to a glass bunny figurine on Ian’s dresser, which Ian happens to love. I dismissed that thought thinking that he had never played with it before, why would he start now? And how could he get on top of his dresser anyway? Then a cry pierced the air, and I hurried back to his room.

There sat my boy on his changing table, covered in water, fake snow…. and glass. I had forgotten about the snow globe my grandpa had given to me that was also on Ian’s dresser, which he also happens to love – maybe even more than the bunny.

I know why Ian loves the snow globe. It’s for the same reason I do, and yet I can’t really tell you exactly why I love the snow globe. There is something enchanting (dare I say magical?) about it. Inside the globe was a little blonde haired angel with his hands folded like he was praying and his puppy dog at his feet. The glass globe sat on a disc of stained wood which completed the piece. I loved it the minute I opened the gift from my grandfather. It was the picture of peace and serenity. When the snow “fell,” I wanted to climb inside the globe and sit beside the little angel, calm and quiet in a sea of water and snow.

I don’t even remember the occasion for receiving the globe —a birthday, Christmas, etc., but for some reason I always thought of it as a gift from just my grandfather, which was rare to receive a gift only from him. The globe quickly found a place on my dresser where it remained until it moved to Alice’s/Ian’s dresser at Christmas time each year since they were toddlers. The kids and I would shake it before bed and watch the snow gently cover the angel and his puppy. Each child would beg me to shake it again and again.

Maybe I love the globe more now because my grandfather passed away 9 years ago; I felt like I was just getting to know him when he left this earth. I’ve been so sad he didn’t get to meet my kids, but here was a small part of him that I could pass on. When I told my mom about the globe later that evening, she said, “Oh no – not the one Papa gave you?”. I think she thought it was enchanting too.

I quickly checked Ian’s hands for cuts. Relieved not to find any, I whisked him off to the bathroom where he continued to howl, mostly due to his wet clothes. Surprisingly, as I changed Ian, I didn’t yell or even raise my voice. Mostly I was sad and mad at myself for not listening to Daniel last week when he told me it was time to move the changing table to the attic after I found Ian napping on it one day. I was mad at myself for leaving my treasured snow globe where mischievous child fingers could get it. I was mad because it’s hard! to clean up tiny bits of wet “snow,” and there was a lot of it. I was mad because the insides of a 20+ year old snow globe do not smell the best.

After I had Ian changed, he crawled into his bed and wouldn’t come out while I wiped and vacuumed. As I looked at the angel sitting among the broken glass in the trashcan, still feeling somewhat sad because my childhood symbol of peace was gone, I realized there was a chance I could salvage the angel. I reached into the trashcan and with measured small twists, trying to avoid the jagged glass which was still intact around the base of the globe, was able to remove the angel from his 20 year resting place.

The angel, being freed of his aquatic habitat, was free to take up residence elsewhere in the house, away from curious fingers. I think I half expected him to spread his wings and fly back to my dresser, where he had been safe for so many years. Most likely, I’ll place him in my corner cupboard along with my “fancy” glass dishes, probably where he should have been to begin with once the little ones came. And while I am still a little sad that some of his enchantment is gone, he’ll still be a beautiful reminder of my childhood and the man my children do not know.

 *   *   After thoughts  *  *

This post was half-written last Friday. Thankfully, everyone made it to their scheduled places this past weekend – safe and sound. The wedding was beautiful. It reminded me of my own – not for any specific reason, weddings in general remind me of my own. I also remembered visiting my grandfather after the wedding. He was too sick to come to the wedding, in the midst of chemo treatments. Daniel and I arrived at his house in wedding attire and talked with him; and as we left, he surprisingly! mentioned our honeymoon to Niagara Falls, which even I didn’t know the destination at that time as Daniel planned it without my knowing any of the details.

“How did he know?” Daniel asked me as we got into the car to begin our honeymoon.

“Know what?” I said to Daniel.

“That we’re going to Niagara Falls… only my parents [Daniel’s parents – not mine!] know where we’re going.”

How did Papa know? I’ve often wondered.


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