We were a little nervous about getting a Christmas tree this year. We had visions of Des, in his new mobile and curious state, ripping off branches and ornaments like a baby Godzilla. We imagined him splashing in the tree water and ingesting smashed up bits of glass ornaments. I don't know where his parents are in these scenarios, but we always fear the worst.
We thought we'd have to put a big gate around it. But the first week it was up, he barely even noticed it. He'd give it the side eye every now and then and go back to playing. So we held off on the gate.
Gradually he started to get more curious. He'd point to it and smile. Each time I'd say, "Pretty tree!"
Now when we carry him down the stairs to the living room, he points to the tree and says "Bshdee!" We walk over, plug in the lights, and his face lights up right along with it. He'll reach out and delicately touch the needles with his fingertips.
Certain ornaments catch his eye and he'll cradle them in his palm. When he's on the floor, he crawls over to the 'bshdee,' points to one of the red bows, and bats at a dangling Santa.
He's always gentle, even hesitant at times. But we encourage him to explore.
If he's upset or sad, we say "Where's the tree?" Inevitably he'll stop crying, turn around and point, forgetting what the fuss was about.
Our short little lopsided tree is not going to last much longer. It's drying up. Despite our frequent watering and sweeping, there is a constant ring of needles on the floor underneath. We're holding on as long as we can. I will be so sad to take it down.
I'm partly dreading the undecorating process, which.. ugh. How tedious and depressing is that. But I am also going to miss Des's face every time we walk down the stairs. His little fist pointing forward and his squeels of delight. I am so afraid our boy will miss his tree. He's at an age where he understands many words and he babbles with the best of 'em. But of all the syllables he has spoken in his short life, none have been as clear or joyful as "bshdee."
Pretty tree, I was not kind to you at first. But you are a part of what has made our first Christmas as a family so special. For that, we thank you, bshdee.