Posted by: Susan | December 1, 2011

Picking out the tree.


Our Thanksgiving week-end consists of 3 things, Derek’s birthday, Thanksgiving and picking out the Christmas tree.  We have done this for as long as I can remember only taking a break from going to a tree farm when we lived in Florida.  The Hunk doesn’t think that a white pine is a Christmas tree!Here is the birthday boy.  We were able to sneak in 2 hours at Ikea for some mom and son bonding time.

Jacob carried in the birthday pie as the Hunk and big sister Jenny looked on.  What you don’t see is the other 8 family members singing Happy Birthday off-key.  The next day we headed out to here:  Big Tree Plantation about a 30 minute drive from our home.Yes, younger siblings can still drive the older guys crazy.  Family dynamics rarely change.  As I have been thinking about this post I had an epiphany.  We are a family first with Down syndrome way in the background of life.  Like any family we have our yearly traditions that are not defined by the fact that 3 of our children have Down syndrome.When we go somewhere as a family we are a big group…12 altogether.  You’ll notice Sam is not in the picture because he was off somewhere checking out who knows what.  Also our son-in-law and grandson Henry were absent because of car trouble and a new Nintendo system.  Guess which one had to fix the car.Just like everyone else we rode out to the fields where you can cut the trees.  It was a gorgeous day and I loved watching all the families with multiple generations enjoying the day.Some families choose to ride out to the fields in a horse-drawn wagon and others go the tractor route.  Both ways get you to the same place!

Some families cut their own trees and others, like us, go back to the barn and pick out a pre-cut tree.

I used to worry about picking out the perfect Christmas Tree but I don’t any more.  The kids want one that is 10 feet tall and Jim wants one with certain kind of branches.  Whatever they pick out is fine because like life nothing is perfect.

Like most families we stop at this photo-op hoping for a picture where everyone has their eyes open and is smiling.  That’s not going to happen.

You see it’s not about the way you get the Christmas tree or if the family photo is perfect.  And it’s definitely not about the Down syndrome.  It’s about being a family that loves each other and shares the same traditions year after year as we create another layer of memories.  What memories are you making?

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