October is a fun month in which to have a birthday. My birthday was earlier this month. I am now 63. My granddaughter, Charlotte, has a birthday this week. She is now 5 years old.

A costume party

Last weekend, in celebration of her birthday, Charlotte’s family and friends gathered at her house for a costume party. I wore an Ace of Hearts costume. I would have been the Queen of Hearts but I made my costume and I couldn’t get the picture of the queen correct.

Charlotte wore a princess costume. Her costumed friends included a ghost, an astronaut, Spider-Man, a lion and a tiger. They all enjoyed having their face painted, and playing games. Then we sang happy birthday to Charlotte, and she blew out the candles on her cake.

After everybody enjoyed birthday cake, Charlotte opened presents. She carefully opened each present and took a good look at it as she enjoyed seeing what she got. She didn’t rush the process. She didn’t tear into the presents like a hurricane. Each time Charlotte opened a present, she was in the moment. Opening those presents was, for Charlotte, pure joy.

Every year, among other things, I give Charlotte a Christmas ornament, for her birthday. Charlotte’s ornament this year was a mama squirrel and baby squirrel in a red mitten. Charlotte was delighted with the ornament.

A children’s Christmas story

I wrote a children’s Christmas story to go along with Charlotte’s Christmas ornament. In the introduction of the book, I explained, “ … years ago, when your mother was in kindergarten, she had an idea for a children’s Christmas story.” I went on and explained, “Your mother never finished the story, so I decided I would.”

The story featured Parker, a squirrel who had a contest with his friends at school, to see who could make the best Christmas ornament. The name of the story is, “The Best Christmas Ornament Ever.”

Life brings with it so much joy

Today is Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Two months from today is Dec. 24, 2019. That’s right. Christmas Eve is two months from today. I don’t mention this to rush Christmas. I mention this so you can be aware of, and give thought to, things in life that bring us joy. Christmas brings us a great deal of joy.

Joy, as those of you who read my column know, has been my word theme for 2019. Over and again, throughout the year, I’ve written in this column about joy. Visits with Charlotte, and her sister, JuneMarie, are one of the greatest sources of joy in my life.

Children get excited about everything

The dandy lion in the yard, the ant on the sidewalk, the bee buzzing in and out of the flowers, a leaf as it lazily falls from the tree and the butterfly flitting through the back yard are all things which enthrall our children. I think children are much better than we are at being in the moment. Like when Charlotte took her time opening each birthday present. Children find joy in everything because they know how to be in the moment. I am happy to follow their example.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.

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