This morning, as torrents of rain poured down, we got out the box of ornaments and decorated the tree. Vic capered all over the place excitedly and held out eager hands for ornaments to put on the branches. He did a really good job, all things considered, there’s very little that’s stacked too close together and he didn’t break anything, even the glass balls that insisted on detaching themselves from their hangers. At one point we had a couple of them rolling around on the floor like spinning tops, and Vic was jumping up and down going “Oh my blue one! My blue one!”
We got everything under control, eventually and he got to hang his blue one up near the top of the tree beneath the Santa he’d hung earlier. I handed Sabs the stack of snowflake boxes and he took each one out, squinting at them to figure out which year they were from. “Huh, here’s the year we got married … and is this 1995? You know at work, they were asking me how long I’d known you and someone was so surprised when I said 13 years.”
This is what decorating the tree is all about for me. It’s the shared history, the remembrances that each ornament brings to the surface. It becomes a grounding, a touching base at the close of the year to remind us all of who we are and how we came to be together as a family.
Vic doesn’t have any stories about the ornaments yet, but he’s old enough now to get into the actual act of decorating the tree. For now, he’s just delighted by the shapes and colors, the different figures that come out of the boxes. Someday though, we’ll stand around our tree telling stories together, and someday even farther away, perhaps, he’ll stand around a tree and remember us, and our happy times as a family as he sets a silver snowflake in place under a carved snowman.