It's just not going to be that funny until you go here for a second.
Okay... maybe it's not all that funny anyway, in retrospect.
But it always gives me the giggles.
Anywho. I digress. But there's a point here, I promise.
Last weekend, we did the tree with the kids. They could not have been more excited about it. They circled the box of ornaments like every ornament was a priceless treasure, hopping around and exclaiming about each one they pulled out of the box. "This was mine when I was a baby!" says my four year old. "And this one was mine when I was a baby!" says my two year old.
I think to myself, as I worry over the fragility of those ornaments, "you're still babies."
We hand them (the less breakable) ornaments, and they place them onto the tree.
The overall effect was, I think, pretty good. You know, the typical tree. Lots of preschool ornaments. A few nice ones. Some ornaments from when Hubs and I were kids.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the tree was a little... bottom heavy.
Clearly, there was an area of high ornament-to-tree ratio. The Kid Zone. Also known as: The Only Part of the Tree They Could Reach Without Assistance.
I'm somewhat anal about things being symmetrical and "right," (can I say anal here?) so I was resolved to even out the ornaments as soon as the kids went to bed. I didn't want to hurt their feelings, of course, but it was driving me crazy that there were so many ornaments in a two foot swath of the tree.
I wanted to "FIX IT!"
I watched the kids as they placed the last of their ornaments, also watching the clock for bedtime.
So I could "FIX IT!"
But as I really watched my son, I saw that he had a story about each ornament-- why each one was near another, who were friends, who had a back story. And at that moment I realized three things.
- My son has a phenomenal imagination.
- I was never going to be able to move these ornaments without him noticing.
- The tree didn't need to be "fixed." It was perfect the way it was.
That tree is a great reflection of what life with small kids is like. It's never what you imagined, or even what you thought you wanted. It's messy and disorganized, but it is also boundlessly joyful and exciting. There's anxiety about what will get broken, but you take the risk anyway because it's not about having the "perfect" tree, it's about the experience of doing this together, and reveling in one another.