We have two Christmas trees each year.
One is a traditional one with all the ornaments we have bought over the years or were handed down from family, while the other we call the kid tree that consists of almost all of their handmade ornaments, photos and some Maryland blue crab shells painted by Pam.
Because Pam is a dynamo, she decorates the majority of both trees. She gets a hand, mainly from Carson, but she seems to really enjoy it each year. My job is to fetch all the materials from the attic for her.
From my vantage point, it looks like Carson really enjoys hanging ornaments. Pam likes having the help but I know in my mind every time he hangs ornaments she’s thinking to herself, just let him put them wherever he wants and I will come back later and fix them. There’s some definite placating going on.
Beckett’s busy social calendar kept him from helping decorate the trees during a recent weekend. He also missed out on the opportunity to get into all the fun I had hanging holiday lights outside.
While I wish he was more involved in the process with us, I assumed he noticed the decorations some time ago and was just less than interested in commenting on them. He’s too busy being a 9-year-old boy to mention anything I figured. While walking through the living room the other night, he stopped mid-sentence as something got his attention. He looked over at the big tree in amazement.
“Wait, mom, when did we decorate the big tree?,” he asked.
She told him several weeks ago. He seemed shocked. He told her it looked great and moved right along.
We saw the Harlem Globetrotters in a snow storm last weekend.
It was largely uneventful, which is just how I like it.
The kids got to meet the players, learn tricks and shoot around on the court before the game. I even got to take some shots on the big court.
Both kids were well behaved and we laughed over the antics and pranks of the players.
It was a fun and an enjoyable night. There were no moments when we had to raise our voice at our kids. There was no need to remove Carson for a spell to give him a break. Beckett never once asked for an electronic device to keep him entertained.
I remember later thinking how life is getting a lot easier with our kids. Years ago, we would have been too worried about behavior to spend the money for floor seats. Concerns the kids would run out on the court and try and steal the ball or provide a distraction to those around us would have won out.
Our boys are maturing and becoming much more predictable. Consequently, as they are evolving, they are becoming a lot of fun to be around because we don’t have to always be on high alert and playing a pressing man-to-man defense on them. There’s a lot less worrying about mundane things in life. While there is plenty to still be concerned about being a parent in today’s world, it’s a relief to see this evolution.
I’ve been knocking on wood ever since having those thoughts, however, as things have a way of leveling out in our world.
The gift of giving is important to teach children. That’s why opportunities for schools to impart this on students are important.
Beckett’s school every year asks students to bring a new, wrapped gift as part of a school-wide drive to provide the less fortunate in our community at least one new gift during the holidays.
After a basketball game this week, I reminded him we needed to stop at the store and get a gift for school the next day. Being 9 and selfish at times, he moaned about it and asked if he could just stay in the car while I picked something out. He assured me I was a much better gift getter than him.
Rejecting that in short order, we picked out something we love doing as a family – playing board games. He selected a new type of Battleship game that looked like a lot of fun to him. He actually wanted to get two, one for him and one to donate. I talked him into one and reminded him to remember the reason for the season. I came up with something about giving that I was thought was fairly clever remembering something I read in a Joyce Meyer testimonial once.
I had to look it up later. She said it a lot better than I did, saying, “We make a living by getting, but we make a life by giving.” It’s a wonderful message in my opinion.
Back to our shopping excursion, at some point I must have been distracted because when we got home I looked in the backseat and saw him flipping through some football cards he slipped to the cashier during our checkout process. He thought that he deserved a little gift as well for being so generous in helping others. When I got in the car the next morning, the cards were strewn about the seat.
That leaves me still wondering if he got the message or not.