How my kids gave me perspective and an appreciation for holiday decor

With a fresh dusting of snow outside and a fire going, I am fighting every urge to put up our Christmas tree a month early…

This is a significant departure from my attitude about decorating and holidays just a handful of years ago. Then, life was too busy. We weren’t even going to be here for Christmas. What was the point?

I was missing several things then; perspective was a big one. Well, I suppose I had a perspective, but it was quite narrow. It was a time in my life before we had children. When the race up the corporate ladder was more important than the one to hang holiday lights. I would get easily distracted by the tiniest inconvenience and dismiss whatever it was as inefficient and useless.

I was recently socializing with someone who clearly didn’t like kids as mine were being noisy and somewhat disruptive. I can certainly understand. I remember the thoughts we once had of, “I would never do that…” or “No child of mine…” I have learned there is a point when parental control and responsibility can be overtaken by a child’s stubborn free will and the only card you have left to play is the “we’re leaving” one — and even that plan could be thwarted if your child has become an expert at refusing to get strapped in their car seat.

Becoming a parent is one of the biggest benchmarks in my life. My days are now filled with tiny inconveniences all day long. I am learning how to deal and I’m redefining what is important.

For the longest time I was looking at life a certain way, and then I was given a new set of glasses with a new lens showing…more. Yes, of course, you see things differently but, holy shit, you see new things entirely. The small things you may have once overlooked have become magnified and then, there are so many of them, it’s sensory overload and you find yourself unable to pick out an insignificant pair of socks. The smart people I know can discern the important small things from the useless small things. They have removed the words always and never from their vocabulary because they know every day they will be making exceptions. They find purpose in every inefficiency or they are masters at letting it go when they can’t.

Yesterday I was listening to an interview with Jessie Eisenberg on his new book, “Bream gives me hiccups & other stories“. There is a character in one of the stories, a nine-year-old boy who at one point suggests,

“Adults have spent so many years thinking more and more like each other because the more you live with other people the less you think like yourself and the more you think like them. But kids are new people so we still think more normally.”

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