Illuminated by the soft, pink-hued glow of hundreds of red and white Christmas bulbs, she calls, “More, again!” and throw up her arms towards Santa and his Winter Wonderland on the roof. The ferris wheel spins, the seesaw tips, the reindeers look back and forth and Santa, on cue, starts singing and swaying, standing tall against the night sky, showering the sidewalk below with familiar classic melodies of the season. She, in turn, starts her self-appointed role of dance partner, harmonizer and neighborhood greeter.
It has become a nightly ritual: dressed in her small pink coat, warm printed tights, coordinated dress and fleece boots, topped by the pink hat, she rides her carriage to the appointed corner and commands a seatbelt release. On cue, she high steps and jumps, hops and jives, twirls the skirt of her coat and marches up and down with her hands pressed together in the small of her back. The neighbors pass by in their nightly routines, to smile and comment on her evolving ritual--each night is a bit fancier and grander than the previous.
The air is quiet and cold, save Santa’s singing, and her occasional “Merry Christmas” and “Ho, Ho, Ho” to chime in with Santa’s song. She triggers the sensor again and again to continue the dance, never tiring.
Every evening, before bed she asks, “Go outside, see Santa, please, mom?” And every evening, until Santa retires for the season, I will take her, trying to savor and save the experience, never tiring of watching the dance of complete joy, staged on a sidewalk corner by a two-year old swathed in pink.
Posted by The Editor.