I thought it would be fun to wander through a lot, enjoying one another and considering all of the lovely trees. Ultimately, it wasn't quite so idyllic... someone was begrudgingly waking up from an impromptu nap, someone else had to go potty and simply could - not - wait. Monte was recovering from a 12-hour bug and I was upset that my perfect little tree-cutting activity wasn't going to plan. Gavin was a trooper, determined to be the best helper. (Although I think that has more to do with him wanting to be the keeper of the saw than anything else...)
We walked through the little forest of tidily groomed trees and critiqued each. This one is too small, that one is too large. One a bit crooked while another has an awkward bare spot...
The truth is that each tree was beautifully created just the way it should be, just like each of us... flaws and all. And just like each of us, we can position the tree so that the imperfections are turned towards the back, and seem more charming than glaring... putting the best side forward.
We ultimately settled for a tree that looked to be about the right size. Ultimately, I compromised and let Benett pee in the woods. Gavin used a saw. Ellie stopped crying when she realized there was no way that Mom was going to carry her through the woods, and settled for holding hands.
We all have our flaws... but in the end that's just the way it's supposed to be. Learning to love and even appreciate them is the real treasure.