When I was a child, my grandfather celebrated Christmas by making home movies. First, he had to set up the lights-huge bulbs inside of silver bonnets attached to chairs and teetering on tripods around the living room.
Then, he had to pose four grandchildren in front of the tree. "Hold up your doll, Marilyn. Bob, show us your truck. Karen, put your skirt down." The lights were hot and we didn't want to sit still or sit down. But Grampa was determined and we were not excused to go play until he had captured this holiday on film. Today, those movies are in my basement, carefully labeled and stored in sturdy metal tins.
I rarely view them because I have to hunt up an old projector, but when the wheels start turning, the flickering picture of a little girl in a red dress makes me laugh-and makes me cry. Where has the time gone? It seems as if my whole life has flashed by as quickly as this movie.
Probably my grandfather knew how fast the years flew by and that was why he made us sit still for a few minutes. "Okay, now, Marilyn. Wave at Grampa. Smile!"