It dawned on me while I was playing with our son, Danny. He decided to put together a floor puzzle. A puzzle we’ve had longer than we’ve had Danny. I remember making this puzzle together before, and I was about to climb down onto the floor next to him. In the past, we worked side by side to fit the pieces in the right places. This time, though, I stayed put and let him start independently. I witnessed in wonder how he was figuring it out. On his own. It got me thinking, perhaps because I had this newfound free time where I wasn’t crawling around looking for the edge pieces. I sat watching him figure it out on his own. I suddenly wondered, who’s watching us figure "it" out?
“It” being Christmas tree farming as the selling season was fresh on my mind. All of you? I suppose since you’re reading this that’s a reasonable conclusion. We’re doing our best to figure it out, and I hope you’re enjoying or at least you’re entertained by watching us figure it out.
Grandpa Dan, is he watching us figure it out? I like to believe that he is. Hopefully with more faith than fear as he watches the decisions we’re making, the plans we’re developing. It warms my heart to think he’s chuckling at the mistakes we’ve made and giving a knowing smile as we understand something he learned so long ago. I think Grandpa Dan can be a lot to so many, all different, all true. It’s especially funny that he’s watching you figure out how to get an 18 foot tree on the top of your mini-van. Lesson learned.
It’s a lesser celebrated parenting milestone, this watching your kids figure things out. Instead of doing the thing, helping with the thing. I imagine it gets both harder and more rewarding as kids grow as well. I’ll celebrate it now, especially in the confines of our home where the consequence is an unfinished puzzle or bent cardboard from trying to figure it out a little too hard.
- Graduating to books with paper pages in place of board books. And, to level it up, chapter books while snuggling in bed and staying up just a little bit extra to finish one more chapter.
- Waking your kids up to tell them there’s a snow day. Tell me something cozier and more magical than being snowed in? We sell Christmas trees, so is it any surprise we love snow and winter?
- Watching and playing real sports together. I can throw a football or baseball with normal adult strength, try in a game of PIG, and cheer on the Packers with someone who gets even more into it than I do. I also got the chance to coach our oldest in soccer last summer. Bigger kid opportunities are pretty cool!