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Gingerbread Man

The house that Liam built.

Well, I guess I've had my head in the sand about Disney's Frozen, but last night was the first time I've watched it, with 3 year old grandson Liam. Liam has seen it a few times and knew all the music and I must say it's pretty great. 

And today, Liam and I decided to abandon the fine motor skills required to do the rooftop decorations on the gingerbread house that we had built, as Liam wanted to show me his rocket launcher on the back lawn. After about 15 minutes our fingers were numb and we decided to go into his dads shop to ride his new bike.
The shop is spacious and heated by a radiant floor, and last summer son John installed insulation in the walls and ceiling and 'while he was at it', an incredible sound system ("I mean I was up in the ceiling so why not have good speakers") and large tv for all the YouTube videos about fixing snowmobiles and dirt bikes and whatever needs fixing.  Liam jumped on his bike and adeptly navigated around the huge work table in the middle of the shop and avoided the snowmobile being worked on and all the random work stations and I thought it might be fun to listen to the sound track of Frozen at a high level in that cozy, cavernous workshop.

It was an hour unlike any I've had in a long time, perhaps ever. We marched like an army in the beginning, Liam tooting on a red funnel with a flexible hose, and as the music changed we pushed each other on a rolling chair, careening around corners and twirling in circles at each end - we listened to the orchestra and were veerrrry quiet and then *burst* into wide open arms (you have to know the music but there's a part with 'Love is an open DOOR!' We abandoned the bike and the rolling chair and danced, spinning each other and laughing - we stopped and *sparkled* with our fingers in the air as the music was tender...and lay on the thick blue mat at the bottom of the climbing wall, lay there as the heavy instrumental piece was big and washing over us...we looked straight at the ceiling and listened for 4 minutes totally motionless...and felt it to our toes. 

I know I did. 

Liam's gingerbread house
Photo by Constance Chatfield-Taylor

Then we JUMPED up again as the music changed, the part about being chased down the mountain (Liam knows the story well), and at one point he dropped to the cement floor covered in sawdust, 'frozen'.  I lifted his arms and legs one by one and then tickled his tummy and saw a smile spread across his face as he jumped up (no longer frozen). 
We did this for an hour - moved to the music and sparkled and stomped and laughed and got covered in sawdust. Then as I lay flat out on the blue mat saying we should make lunch, he reached down and touched me on the face and whispered, 'stay here,' motioning with his hand. 'Stay right here, ok?"

I peeked through the shop door and saw him disappear into the house and in a few minutes the door opened and he struggled in with the gingerbread house.  As he put it on the shelf of a rolling cart everything started crumbling and the roof broke off... he was horrified and so was I until I assured him we could fix it and we both started laughing as he carried it back to the kitchen, shedding jellied ornaments and tiny candies all along the way.  ‘Uh oh,' Liam would say as I would pick up candies behind him, until finally it was back on the kitchen counter.

We both needed naps after grilled cheese and tomato soup.