Matey (nearly 12) decorated the tree this last week. We had to sell some furniture and clean up the lounge before we could put up the Christmas tree as there was literally nowhere to put it. Whilst I was cleaning up and getting rid of the furniture, Matey took it upon himself to put up the tree. Instead of our big beautiful Christmas tree which we decorate each year with oodles of ornaments, many having a particular meaning, both Princess and Matey decided to go for a smaller tree that they had been given a few years ago. Matey looked through the decorations and chose the ones with the names of God written on them and hung them on the tree.
Later that evening, as I sat in the armchair to read to him, I glanced over at the tree. The middle section looked really bare. A few baubles hung at the top, most near the bottom and, to be honest, it looked… not perfect. I immediately had a wrestle going on in the inside of me. Do I fix it to look perfect? Does it need to be perfect? What about when we have his birthday party a few days before Christmas and people come and see this pitiful looking tree? Should I do anything?
Yes, I decided I should do something. I needed to look at myself and why the need for a ‘perfect looking’ Christmas tree. It wasn’t really about the tree. It was about stuff inside of me that I needed to deal with.
Matey saw me looking at the tree and he asked me how I liked it. I paused, knowing that I could easily crush him or speak words of life. Princess (14) heard the question, came quickly into the room and looked at the tree. “It’s fantastic”, she said, “but perhaps a few little Christmas lights around the middle would be perfect.”
Yes. I need to look through eyes that see what is really happening, not just my issues that still need healing.
How often do we speak words of death into what our kids have done when the reality is really that we have junk in our own lives about what is ‘perfect’ and the real reason why we need it to be perfect.