Back when I was a good mom - so you know, before we had any actual kids - I dreamed of our family's Christmas tree tradition. All dressed in coordinating outfits my polished little family would tromps out in a snowy field, finding the perfect Christmas tree to fit on top of our perfect car and later into our perfect (and CLEAN!) house. My husband would make the ceremonial first cut and the kids would all patiently wait in line for their chance to swing the saw. We would all cheer as our perfectly beautiful evergreen fell to the ground sacrificing itself for our Christmas cheer. We would take a horse drawn carriage back with our beloved tree, giggling and sipping hot chocolate along the way.
Sigh. Sounds perfectly perfect right?
Yeahhhhh... that's not really what happens here. Having been either (1) pregnant and sick, (2) pregnant and on bed rest and/or (3) having a brand new baby, we have never attempted my dream Christmas tree tradition. Judging how today's tree finding mission went I'm not sure any local tree farms would want us there quite frankly.
You see, my dream Christmas tree tradition took a sharp left in 2008 when I was so sick from being pregnant with our eldest that I begged my husband to just pick any [blank] tree at the local big box store so I could go throw up in peace. 2009 I was reeling from being a 1st time mom and was -get this- afraid the tree would hurt the baby. Lowes it is! 2010, sick and pregnant. 2011, little baby. 2012... I think you get the idea.
This year, 2016, was my year!! Yep. I had it all planned out in my head. Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie (cause we only name things obvious names), usually heralds our trip to get the tree every year and he showed up bright and early on Saturday morning. After the powdered donuts where smeared all over my festive tablecloth and chocolate milk split on my nice clean floor, I was ready to get the kids dressed to head to a tree farm. Until, that is, I heard a barking cough and a whiny "moooooooooooom?" from the living room couch. #crap.
My number one son was sick and didn't feel up to getting a tree. My husband assured me he would feel better by the afternoon and we would get it then. Yeah... he didn't. Sunday my husband had made fishing plans with a friend and after that they were coming over for me to shoot their Christmas card photo. So Sunday was no tree for you. Plus, I'm pretty sure the farms are all closed on Sundays.
Yesterday was Monday and my hubby said right after school we would load up the kids in Flash (my giant boat of a Suburban) and head out. I looked forward to it all day. The fun! The memories! And probably my favorite: the photos!!!!
And then no one napped when they should have. There were temper tantrums and screaming and tears. Oh and the kids were naughty too. Finally, in exasperation I exclaimed "LET'S JUST GO TO LOWES!" Any tree is better than none, right?!? Into the car we piled, I grabbed my big girl camera and off we went.
We should have just stayed home. Or ordered a fake one and some of the Pine smelling spray from Target cause holy cow. That was a nightmare.
Mr Sicky himself seemed to suddenly shred his cough bug and instead gain a hyperactive, crazyman germ instead. I am not joking when I say he was RUNNING LAPS around us as we looked at the tree selections. Don't believe me?
Boom. Evidence is served.
No matter how much bargaining for candy, threats of lost of privileges and quite frankly receiving the wrath of mom we never did get the perfect family Christmas tree photos I had been hoping for. Seriously. He was still running as a gracious stranger snapped our picture for us.
While my frustration with the son grew my husband muttered that one day I will laugh about this. At the time I shot him a warning glare but here, a few mere hours later I can say that yes: my son being a crazed lunatic while we tried to get our tree is slightly comical and so indicative of our lives right now.
I got my memory. It was just different than the one I had anticipated. So while our Christmas tree experience this year wasn't perfect by even our most imperfect Christmas tree experience, it was true to our season of life and while it's totally frustrating that my 5-year old couldn't behave himself in the store for even 5 flipping minutes, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sometimes we don't get what we wish for but instead get something even better. I didn't plan on driving my crazy train through Lowes but I did get a memory I can laugh about later. Another funny story in the book that is OUR STORY. Oh and some funny pictures to blackmail the kids with later.