I have to admit it.  I guess until now – the reality hadn’t really hit me that it’s just hubby and I from now on.  I am up and down with bittersweet emotions today.

kids dec treeLet me digress a little.   We have had a tradition that we would all decorate the tree as a family. We have done this since the the twins were 3 and Alex was 6.  I remember  each child making sure their hand made ornament was placed just so.  I remember them even fighting over who’s should be higher.  Of course Alex won out, simply because he was older and taller. Once the tree was done, and everyone had done their part, we all stepped back and looked on with such pride and happiness.  I felt such a feeling of love, connection, and togetherness.

Aly asked me when “we” were going to get a tree about the 6th or so of December.  Now let me clarify – she technically still “lives” here in that her bedroom is here that she sometimes sleeps in and she showers and eats here… I’m pretty sure, anyway – there has been evidence to the fact, so we’ll go with yes.  So she includes herself in “we” but only for prosperity’s sake, I’m sure of it.

Photo credit Disney.com
Photo credit Disney.com

Then there was the discussion that I wanted to get a fake tree because my body can’t take the hunting down, cutting, traipsing back, straightening and then decorating it.  Just talking about it here makes me want to take a nap.  Anyway – It turned out that because I want a pre-lit tree that looks real, it’s pretty expensive.  So, we bought a pre-cut real tree and put it up four days ago.   Of course the Aly part of “we” was nowhere to be found for this.

Then Aly suggested that “we” wait until Ryan comes home from Syracuse University two days ago to decorate it.  I thought it was a great idea.  It warmed my heart that she suggested it and that she wanted to still participate in the tradition. I texted Ryan and asked him and asked what he thought and he said “sure”.   So, of course, I thought that this would be the plan. I was excited.  I texted Alex and asked him if he wanted to come over and help decorate the tree.  He said he had plans all weekend.  When Ryan got home it was about 7:30 and I was turning into a pumpkin quickly.  I asked if they wanted to decorate the tree tomorrow.  This was yesterday.   They both had to work, and then said they were boarding. (Snow boarding – we live about half an hour from Killington –   a big ski mountain)  and had a bunch of their friends coming and couldn’t break the plans.  I said, “I guess I’ll just have to do the decorating myself then since you guys don’t seem to want to make the time.”  Guilt trip attempt failed.  No affect on them at all.

I put on my reindeer antlers. Put my 7 channels of festive – and other – music on Pandora on shuffle and got in a pretty festive mood. I got out the boxes and laid out all of the ornaments.  I found the first ornament that Andy and I had after we got married. Flood of happy memories.  I found the glass snowman ornament the kids bought for me in 2008 – thankfully still intact. This made me smile.  I also found the three beaded angel ornaments with each kids names on them that their aunt made with them in 2005.  Another heartwarming memory.  Then the sadness came.  There were no more hand-made or special ornaments.  Since we’ve moved a few times things got broken or lost.  Then I was looking for pictures of the kids at Christmas time.  Since there has been more than one computer that has crashed, countless pictures have been lost too.  This brought a tear to my eye.

I guess the moment has come when my kids are what I have always wanted. Independent. Happy.  Able to think on their own. And make their own decisions. Wonderful, impactful adults.   I didn’t realize I would take it so hard.

* All of the photos in this post were edited using Picadilo.com.  A great photo editing program online.