Monday, December 8, 2008

Just... FIX IT!

I'm one of the last dying breed-- I still watch Saturday Night Live. Any other confessors out there? Anyway, one of the newest recurring characters on the show is the economic advisor on the Weekend Update. The economic guru is played by Kenan Thompson. His stellar advice about the economy and what's ailing it?

FIX IT!

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.
  1. My son has a phenomenal imagination.
  2. I was never going to be able to move these ornaments without him noticing.
  3. The tree didn't need to be "fixed." It was perfect the way it was.
So, I came to terms with our "cluster tree," and I haven't moved a thing. I haven't added more ornaments to balance out the bottom. I haven't touched it since we put it up.

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.

4 comments:

Chan said...

This area on our tree also has many ornaments held together by hot glue as they have not survived the wrath of Skylar.

Heather said...

Oh yes, that was definitely our tree last year. And I left it bottom heavy too. It was the perfect tree for our life at the time.

This year M is tall enough to reach almost to the top. Her and K did a great job decorating our tree. Better than I ever could.

Hip Mom's Guide said...

Ah, yes, the 'cluster'! My favorite part of your story is that some of the ornaments are friends. How beautiful is that?

susiej said...

Ha! We have that too! And your introspection is right on... nothing needs fixing.