These pics are for my Aunt Sherry, who hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, and who has been waiting patiently to see them.
And yes, that bear was once living.
Not only was the food delicious (especially the duck, which I had to ask for on the sly), but the games, conversation and company that followed was, of course, the best.
15 December 2007
05 December 2007
In the weeks leading up to our trip to the North Pole, I talked the event up to the little man. "We're going on a train ride. It's going to take us to the North Pole, where Santa lives. Santa's going to get on board and say hello. And so will Rudolph and Frosty and some elves. There will be a treat."
"What kind of treat, Mommy?" was all he asked.
"I don't know. Probably a cupcake."
"Yeah. I want a cupcake!" He was grinning from ear to ear.
This past Saturday, after waiting in line in arctic temperatures, we boarded the train in Newburyport, and we weren't sitting down for more than a minute before our son started yelling for his cupcake. For a toddler, the wait for a promised treat must seem like an eternity. But we got through the reading of Chris Van Allsburg's story and singing some Christmas songs. And we weren't half-way to the North Pole (aka the Beverly MBTA stop) before the chefs started to bring out the snack.
When one of them handed my son a chocolate brownie, he looked at it, handed it back to me with a look of disdain in his eyes, and said, "I want a cupcake."
"Oh, but it's a delicious brownie," I said, biting into my own, and exaggerating my chew.
"No. I want a cupcake. I would like a cupcake, PLEASE!"
"Just try it. Take a bite."
Finally, he succumbed, and bit into it.
"I like it!" he said.
He spent the rest of the train ride - a visit from Santa and his elves, Frosty and Rudolph and some more caroling - with chocolate smeared across his lips, and ringing the silver bell, handed to him by one of Santa's helpers as the first gift of Christmas
Two years ago on the Polar Express, when I was handed the silver bell for our son, then only an infant, I shook it for him. But it didn't make a sound. If you know the story, you know what that means. But this year, the bell rang loud and clear.
"It's from Santa's sleigh!" Braedan yelled to Rich and I.
"It is," we said. "It is."