Every year, when we put up the Christmas tree, I start snapping at the kids. I know why now.
The kids are excited like kids will be about the tree coming in the house and the decorations going up. The are chatty, asking questions and arguing about the best position of their favorite ornaments. There are a few ornaments that mean more to me than the others. One is a little fireplace that is from our very first Christmas as a family. The other one that is meaningful is a little glass angel. We purchased it in a little Christmas village the year I lost one my babies. I was only 7 weeks along but I had been so sure that this one was going to stick. I had already lost 3 when I got pregnant one more time. I felt so good, until the cramping started.
That was around Thanksgiving in 1996. I still mourn for my lost little one and when I put that little angel on the tree, it hurts. I need just a moment to compose myself. Quiet for just a few minutes to blink back the tears and say a little prayer.
Oh but wait a minute. I have 3 kids crowded around me decorating the tree. They are excited and can't wait for the presents to appear. I ask to be left alone for few minutes and it doesn't happen. Nonsense questions come rapid fire. An argument and tug of war with a delicate ornament. My temper gets out of control and things get worse from there.
After all these years I finally understand. I know what sets everything into motion. Next year, I will know to retreat to the bedroom for a few minutes.
Not this year. This year I had a full melt down. But next year I will know.