Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Letting Go, Fa La La

I'm the kind of person that arranges their book shelf from tallest to shortest. My CDs and DVDs have always been in alphabetical order. And if I ever had several items of various color? Roy G Biv, baby.  
Let me be the first to say it (and then my family can be the second and third and fourth), I like things a certain way.  

If you're following this, nodding in agreement, this next part is where our stories might differ.  Most people's story would say "And then I had kids and learned that things are better when children put them in their own unique order and...." NO.  

No. No. No. And no.

Kids are dumb. They don't respect how soothing the proper placement of things can be. They thrive on creating chaos. It's their mission. And they work on that chaos with the same compulsion that causes me to rearrange the Christmas tree after they've "decorated" it.
Homemade candy cane next to a real candy cane?  Ornamental redundancy and just plain crazy! 
A candy cane next to a candy cane next to a candy cane? It's a confectionery orgy on this tree! 
I know it's wrong to feel this way. I don't need your judgey-face looking down your nose at me. I look down my own nose at me enough for the both of us.  But the down-looking only comes after my brain has screamed about the fact that my daughter is wearing navy blue with black and my son has a patterned shirt on with a totally different patterned pant not to mention the fact that the two share no matching colors and someone has stacked a plate on TOP of a bowl in the sink and what did I ever do to deserve such punishment?

We have an advent calendar that the kids use each year. Each day, the kids take turns putting up the next ornament. This is a tradition that they relish. It's always the first thing out of the Christmas box and the first thing put up for the holidays.  If it's their calendar day, it is one of the first things they do when they wake up that morning.  It's a decorating process that I am only an observer of.

And it hurts.

Case in point:
Seventeen days in.
Look at this. The cardinal is kissing the dove who is pecking on the Santa that has a candy cane hooked on the ball at the end of his hat.  All the while, Beaker is in the middle of a two-car, one train pile up that happened right outside the gingerbread house's driveway while the snowman and gingerbread man run away, hand-in-hand, unharmed from the crazy chaos that was my beloved advent calendar.

But in keeping with the spirit of the season, I stifled my inner crazy and left the decorations as is. All of them. I didn't touch a single ornament. Every candy cane was left in place, even if that place was right next to another candy cane of the same color even though, why would you do that when you had two other candy cane colors to choose from in addition to a bunch of other ornaments, most of which were not candy canes and maybe we should just have no candy canes next year unless I can color-coordinate my brain explosion to match the wall color.  

And then, a beautiful thing happened.  Something so amazing and heart-warming that your faith in your life-choices are all-at-once restored and you know that everything is right with the world.  

Cara placed a wrapped present gently under the tree, nestling it on top of the hand-made tree skirt and right below the crocheted bells that my great-great aunt made that had been a part of my tree since I was an infant.  Craig looked down at the gift and said, "The snowmen are upside-down!"

Hands off. He's mine!
Proof that I left it alone all month.

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