Skip to main content

Merry Christmas Night. . .


A big day here in The Grand Duchy of Stollen.  We began with The Young Master racing downstairs at about 10am to see if Santa Claus and the reindeer had eaten the treats left for them and to read the annual letter to him from Santa as his mother and I readied breakfast.  We wrapped up the day with my tucking him in a short while ago at 8:40pm with a final wish of Merry Christmas one more time, a brief recap of the day, and a kiss on the forehead before I closed the door to his room and stole quietly back downstairs.

The Young Master is now 12 although rather immature in some ways due to ASD and related learning disabilities.  At the same time, he now seems so adult in other ways.  I am sure Santa Claus will not hold the same excitement for too much longer.  Our little boy is growing up with a consuming interest in natural history and the sciences as well as cartoon strips, social and political history, and working toward his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  

So, this Christmas Day has been bittersweet for ol' Dad.  It was not that many years ago that he stilled slipped his mittened hand into mine as we walked to the school bus stop at the end of our driveway.  More recently, Paul now and then admonishes us not to treat him like a baby (his words).  Sigh.  Well, I suppose this is all part of being a parent.  A wild, thrilling, and occasionally frustrating ride, but tinged at other times with wistful desire that things will never change.  

Of course, we adults all know that the only constant in life is change.  As my late maternal grandmother once told me when I moved into my first apartment at 21, "You teach your children to walk.  And when the time comes, you must also teach them to walk away."

Still, we've got him for a few more years before university and whatever else life has in store for our son as he moves toward and into adulthood.

On that note, the photographs above were too good not to share here.  The Young Master was also excited by the prospect of painting a squadron of newly received Minden Russian dragoons together once we finish last year's Christmas gift, the Prussian musketeers painted as garrison infantry.  Watch for a few updates on those as we move through Christmas Week and into 2022. 

Merry Christmas 2021!

-- Stokes


tradgardmastare said…
Excellent photo and reflections from you. It was my nephew’s son’s first Christmas, which caused me to look back too.
Der Alte Fritz said…
Happy Boxing Day to you and your family.

I hate to give parenting advice to others, but here’s a brief bit based on my experience with Lelia ( now 23). After age 12 start treating the kiddos as adults (placing more mature expectations on them) and they follow your lead. I wish that someone had told me this at the time because we held onto some of the kiddie routines for too long.

Ah, never mind me, you and the Grand Duchess are doing just fine.


Popular posts from this blog

Comfortable Rules for Games of Glossy Toy Soldiers in the Old Style. . .

  Introduction A Tangled Mass is a game of toy soldiers in the old style, set more or less in the middle part of the 18 th century.   Our miniature forces are colorful and, we hope, glossy.  Although the latter, like so much else, is up to the discretion of the players.   But it is the modeling, brushwork, and unit organization of hobby greats like Gilder, Mason, and Robinson that provide our visual touchstone and continue to inform "the look of the thing" even now. Tabletop armies in A Tangled Mass can be historic, semi-historic, or whimsically fictitious, but the more flags and mounted officers, the better.  Formations, while bearing some resemblance to their historic precedents, are generic: column, line, or extended order for lighter types.   Squares, while possible, are less common than during all of that later Napoleonic madness with its guillotines and Spanish ulcers.  And we'll simply choose not to mention patent leather dancing pumps, or that unseemly bedr

Finding Inner Peace in Toy Soldiers. . .

  F inding inner peace in toy soldiers is something that I expect non-wargamers, painters, and collectors would not quite understand, but it helps calm me as we prepare to return to campus and business as usual (??!!) tomorrow morning.   Faculty, staff, and students have been advised time and again by our university, in the wake of Monday evening's shootings here at Michigan State University, to practice self-care and find joy/peace/calm/salvation in ways that work for us. So, with that in mind, I made the decision to press on yesterday evening and this (Sunday) afternoon with wrapping up my version of Austria's Wied Infantry, which I've been tinkering with since last August.  Time to get back on the horse and get 'em done.   And they are almost there.  Just a few remaining teeny, tiny things to touch up -- details no one but me will ever notice -- and then Bob's your mother's brother.  I'll call 'em done and get moving with that company of 15 generic ja

Taking Stock Part II: The (As Yet) Unpainted but Planned OOB. . .

  Two companies of Reichsarmee grenadiers painted back in 2017 or 2018.  Minden Austrians of course. A lovely early autumn day here in the grand duchy.  Bright sunshine and a light breeze with cool temperatures will make for some very pleasant late afternoon lawn mowing in a little while.  But first a bit more discussion of painting plans for the future. Last time, I looked back at the various and sundry units, support troops, and civilians that I've managed to paint in the last 17 years as the Grand Duchy of Stollen project has developed.  So today, let's look into the seemingly bottomless Drawer 'o' Lead to my left for a clue to the new direction.  Be forewarned, it's not going to be a quick job getting everything painted and based, but there we are. The following plans are based on the pile of unpainted figures already here.  Any future purchases will be limited to small things that might be needed to fill out the envisioned units (the odd few officers mounted o