Ok, ok, I know I haven't written for a while now. I've gone through a phase of feeling like my life is really not that exciting to write about. Or, alternatively, my thoughts are sometimes a little too wild to put out there for the whole world to see!
Either way, we now have a half-decorated Christmas Tree in our living room and I must blog about it.
You see, it's the second year in a row we have screeched into Home Depot with crying kids right before closing time, in the rain, to get one. While I am muttering pathetic criticisms at each and every family member about the trees they want to pick and Marcel is pointing out that my hands are firmly ensconced in my pockets, I am struck by how utterly and completely OPPOSITE this picture is of what was in my mind last week as I envisioned our family's outing to get our tree.
Did I plan for us to go to an idyllic Christmas Tree farm? YES! Did I have visions of us merrily tromping into the woods to pick the perfect tree? YES! Did I picture Marcel-the-lumberjack with his axe and saw cheerily conquering the pine-scented beast? YES!! I even, admittedly, heard the Christmas carols that should've been playing on the radio and expected my children's exuberant faces to be smiling cherubic-ly while we drank apple cider afterwards. The ride home was to be full of anticipation of hanging the treasured ornaments on the tree while I whipped up some shortbread cookies.
Seriously!?!? You might be asking. YES!! Two years in a row? YES! What did I get instead?
First of all, it rained and poured. And we left later than planned. The check-engine light on the van made hubby nervous to drive to a Christmas Tree farm so far out, so we didn't bother looking up directions to the farm, planning to go to Canadian Tire instead. When said light miraculously disappears, we decide to just wing it and find said farm. Drive, drive, drive. Children get hungry. No farms in sight. It's too dark to keep looking, so we head back. Tears and anger start brewing in the back seat. Mom starts yelling from the front seat (yes, that's me!): SUCK IT UP! Yup, not my best parenting moment. We see Home Depot, the lights are still on...and in we go.
At home, one son stomps on the lights as we try to find the not broken ones. The other son screams at son one for doing this. Daughter decides to take the nicely untangled beads that Dad spent 45 minutes detangling and wrap them around her arm where they promptly get tangled again. Boys decide to play tag and roll into the base of the tree. Girl cries because we don't let her decorate the couch with the Christmas bows. Do I need to go on? All the while the cats circle the tree precariously. I'm fully prepared to wake up tonight to the sound of it crashing to the ground.
So if this is reality, why do I expect the unattainable? I like to think of myself as a little smarter than that. Yet, here we are in year two with the same miserable experience. Somewhere along the way I have been duped into believing those warm fuzzy moments can happen. And I am willing to drag my family through hell or high water to find those warm fuzzies.
Is it worth it? We did manage to put the Young Handel's Messiah in the laptop for some background music (some child broke our iPod docking station recently). I made tacos for supper which prompted Aiden to spontaneously thank God that I finally made tacos which are his favorite. Reuben kept saying "lookit Mommy!" "come see Mommy!" and when he pointed and said "beeeyoootiful!" I couldn't help but agree. Janae ignored the wind and the rain (and her mother's advice and example) and climbed up on the van roof to help Daddy tie the tree down, after dragging it out of the Home Depot warehouse with him. And all that after shedding some pretty dramatic tears about it not being a Christmas Tree farm. Resilience? Determination? I found it inspiring.
One of the reasons I had such unrealistic expectations is because we did have a few Christmases that actually worked out exactly how I wanted them to, a few years ago when we stumbled upon a quaint Christmas Tree farm in Chilliwack that did actually serve hot apple cider in a pinesy smelling room that you could retreat to after cutting your own tree down in the softly falling snow. But those moments weren't planned. And we can't recreate them. Sometimes, in a family, it's the unplanned moments that end up being the warmest, fuzziest, and most memorable. And even in the craziest of times, I wouldn't trade my warm fuzzy family for any perfect one, any day!
Welcome! Come on in! Make yourself at home and stay awhile. But beware of the odd flying toy, fighting child, dirty sock, or even a mad Mama. If you are looking to read about about a perfect family, this is NOT it. But if you want a real snapshot of day to day life in the deRegt household, you might just find that here. My desire through this blog is to keep in "real" touch with family and friends, beyond the picture-perfect Christmas form letter (hey, what can I say? I believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve). We consider ourselves blessed that there are so many wonderful people in our lives that we can't even keep in touch with everyone. Please leave a comment now and then, we'd love to hear from you, too. Except if you are perfect, then we want you to go away!!