Monday, December 17, 2012

The Tree Hunt

A couple weekends ago I became acutely aware of how sweet motherhood 
is. It's easy to get caught up in the go, go, go (and not as is Diego) and the 
do, do, do of it all, easy to lose sight of what's important, of what really counts. 
Sure the tantrums are tough and the defiance from the five year old brings to 
mind a scene of a classic stand off between a parent and their teen. But we're 
in the business of bringing amazing individuals from baby to child to adult. I'm 
convinced it's the most difficult and rewarding job there is. 

That weekend we drove an hour with our little crew and cut down our
own Christmas tree at a tree farm. Unseasonably warm, it was a great
day to be out with the kids. Our tiniest family member to needed to be 
nursed as soon as we arrived, and of course a massive poopie blowout
followed. With my car seat as a makeshift changing table, I struggled to
keep my six month old from squirming off the seat, desperately tried
to avoid smearing poop somewhere it shouldn't be, and braced myself
against the car door, which the wind attempted to force close. Once the 
wind got the better of me, and the door frame clunked against my temple.

Where was my dear husband and darling children? They were off exploring 
the tree farm and deciding what kind of tree they wanted. My husband's
expression was both questioning and relieved when he saw me trudge 
up the hill toward them. I explained the poopie episode, wind fight, and 
the bump on my head (I forgot to mention the struggle with the baby sling
I had just bought, couldn't get it nearly as tight as it was supposed to be.
It had seemed so easy in the store!). I received a sympathetic look and 
we proceeded with our small band of (what was it that day?), oh yes,
Christmas tree hunters (it could've been pirates, tigers, cowboys, or
bunny rabbits), that day we were all simply Christmas tree hunters, on
a mission to find the perfect tree. 

The children hopped, jumped, ran, and danced their way between the 
trees. A few were too short, a few too misshapen, a couple too tall. It 
had to be just right. Clearly the farm had been picked over a bit, and 
the drought from the summer was evident in branches colored a lighter
green to light brown. We wove our way through the small, symmetrical
forest until we stumbled upon a good contender, nicely shaped and a 
perfect height. Although not as green as I'd like, it was our tree. The 
children shouted their approval, out came the borrowed saw, and down
came our tree. There were a few shoves to claim who would pull the 
small plastic sled carrying the tree first, but after a stern scolding, a 
reminder to share, and apologetic hugs and kisses, we were off again.
Back by a small barn-like structure to pay for our prize, the children
attempted to befriend everyone who happened by and introduced them
to our tree. 

On our way home, I reflected over our little excursion and watched 
the children slowly become calm and glassy-eyed as nap time 
approached. Although a touch stressful at times, how sweet this time
had been. Letting our kids be kids, enjoying each of their personalities, 
loving every bit of who they are, and appreciating that God gave them
to us is what I took from that afternoon. 

Life happens so quickly. Let's enjoy every moment with our families,
always love and forgive each other, and always cherish what God has
given us.