Size matters

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Size matters

Hey, I’m a single mom…did you know that, because I mention it in almost every post. Here’s the thing, being a single mom shapes everything I do. How I cook, how I plan my day, how I plan my life. Today, it is effecting how I think of size.
I’m a kick ass mom, if you want me to do something, just tell me I can’t, I shouldn’t or I’m not supposed to. I immediately must do that thing. Ive killed bees (even though I’m terrified of them) removed mice heads from the living room, removed a staple from my daughters finger and called someone to remove a dead possum. I’ve built fires and stayed up all night with sick kids. I’ve helped cats give birth and invited my husband’s girlfriend to his funeral. I spent a week in Amsterdam alone. I’ve driven my daughters clear across the country, while pregnant, I even tried to gamble with them in Los Vegas. You can’t gamble with children, it’s against the law. I do follow the law.
Today I did one of the most depressing single parent duties…taking down the Christmas tree on New Year’s Day. There’s the tedium of doing it, coupled with the sad reminder that the season of light is over. There’s the piercing of the dried out tree branches coupled with removing Chris’s ornaments. It’s difficult to unwrap five strands of lights from around a giant tree. We got a giant tree, giant.
Back in the first week of December, when taking the monstrosity down was the furthest thing from our minds, it was just the most beautiful tree in the lot. The girls jumped up and down and clapped with glee at the sight of Fred when the tree guy stood him up so we could admire his sheer size. This tree must have been ten and a half feet tall and as big around as Rush Limbaugh. It was indeed a lovely tree, so we had the flannel clad attendant tie it to our Honda pilot with some orange dental floss. Surely gravity and Christmas spirit would hold it onto the car for the three miles we needed to drive home. The girls were excited to get our giant tree in the house. “We will water it every day, let’s make a chart.” They said. We couldn’t even get the star on top it was so tall, so we just nestled the star in the branches near the top.
Four weeks later, as the giant branches had started to curl in on themselves from lack of water and time, it’s time to take the monster out of the house and get on with winter. Of course, no one is interested in helping take down the tree. And frankly it’s easier to do it alone than try to cajole. But it’s really sad. I don’t like that Christmas has passed once again and the long dark winter awaits now. But I took it down, of course and tucked all the ornaments away, wrapped up the 5 strands of lights, untangled the garland and packed away the angel figurines. So…now how to get it out the front door? When the tree arrived, it was soft and compressed within the net from the tree farm. Now it is brittle and not in a net. But I can do this. I don’t need any help. I’ll just tip it forward out the front door and yank it onto the porch. So, I tip it forward and immediately realize that someone had watered the tree at some point, because a giant puddle is now racing across my floor. I called the girls who, come (eventually) running down, they get towels. Then we push and pull the tree as though the house were giving birth to it, after several rounds of pushing and pulling the tree is out on the front porch. Of course there are branches everywhere and needles will still be in our socks in February, but it’s out of the house. So I drag it dutifully to the curb.
As I look at the giant tree, now laying on its side, I come to a conclusion. While I can do this, I don’t want to. I want help. I miss having an adult around who is in it with me. I am a kick ass mom, and I’ll continue to be one, but I accept that this is lonely work. And I accept that I don’t prefer it. I’ll do it, but reluctantly. And frankly, next year we will have to get a smaller tree, or help.

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