I must admit, after these last 2 weeks with constant parties, activity and holiday noise, I am ready for a little simplicity to begin again.
Today we met a dear friend who was in town for the holidays. She is traveling 24 hours by train tonight to get back home, and we had about an hour of catch up time over breakfast. I snapped a couple pictures, asked alot of questions about how life was treating her and tried really hard to hold back the tears when we had to say goodbye again.
After a trip to our local thrift store, we headed to the grocery to stock up on the important things, like milk and bread, to hold us through the impending lake-effect snow we are suppose to get yet before tomorrow morning. We dropped eggs off for my parents so they wouldn't have to get out in the deep snow, then headed home with enough time to get the majority of the family home so Nic and I could meet my niece for some special pampering to celebrate her 14th birthday.
I was giving "orders" to cover my expectations of what everyone should accomplish while I was away this afternoon, when I heard two voices from the backseat of the van just as we were pulling into our driveway.
"Mom, is Bella the boss of the Christmas tree!"
I had to think about it for a minute before I could answer.
Everyone around here seems to think they are the "boss" of something. For Tyler, he thinks he's the boss of the dog and whatever happens in the barn. Admittedly, he spends the most time in chores with both the dog and the goats, so I guess, if that means being the boss of the dog and barn, he would be it.
Nicole thinks she is the boss of her room. Although she shares it with Nelly, Nic seems to think it's up to her to tell Nelly where things go, when to put them there and how quick to do it. I try to squelch that attitude of bossiness, because I don't really like the kids to boss each other. So Nic, in turn, becomes the boss of the upstairs bathroom. Since she likes to boss who/when/how it's used, she also gets to be the boss of cleaning it most of the time. That takes some of her bossiness right out the window.
Nelly likes to think she can boss Tara. NOT. So, Nelly usually is the boss of helping Tara, Mere and Tom with homework. Usually it's reading to them, (which she is an expert at, actually) and as long as she keeps a positive attitude with them, it's nice having her as the homework boss. She could use someone to boss her in that area, however.
Tara bosses everyone. She thinks if one of us doesn't do what she wants or when she wants it, she is justified in being angry at whomever disappoints her. She is a very determined boss, not always the kindest at her bossiness, but she is learning a little bit better every year that bosses get more out of their subjects with kindness and appreciation. Not really a bad skill for a 7 year old to be learning.
Mere is the boss of all the stuffed animals. Every toy in the house lines up under her scrutiny, and she forces each of them to be completely under her spell. They jump, wiggle and move at her command, and I never hear one word of complaint from her bossiness to them. They smile, eyes bright, and come back day after day for more of her demands. It's one of the better situations that I see on a daily basis.
Thomas is the boss of...Bella. He thinks it is his single handed duty to make sure she gets caught doing anything wrong, gets blamed for things he probably has done himself and even roped her into, while all the time maintaining complete innocense in all of it. He prefers bossing Bella, mostly, because she is not quite old enough to understand that he is really not her boss. She will come crying to us at times, telling us what Tommy has told her to do, and we reassure her that Tommy is NOT her boss. But Tommy doesn't believe that for one single minute.
So, up until today, we have thought that Bella was the boss of the bunny. She tells everyone when they can hold him, if they have had him too long, and introduces him to everyone who comes in our home. When they smeared applesauce on him, everyone told us that she was responsible for nearly killing him by dousing him in really cold water to get the applesauce off of his fur. He made it, although it was amazing after his "saucy" ordeal, and we figured Bella would continue to boss the bunny. And she has.
However, today Bella declared, out of nowhere that we knew of, that she was the boss of the Christmas tree. All the bosses in the van were indignant, to say the least. I mean, if she was going to be recognized as the boss of the Christmas tree, everyone else was going to have to come up with a second bossing job too, or it would never work. We could not have such inequality in our family. No way.
So, I calmly replied, "No Mere, Bella is not the boss of the Christmas Tree."
There was a few moments of silence, when that same little voice said, "So who is?"
Well now, I know whoever is the boss of the tree is going to have to answer to me. It's after the holidays now, and the twinkling lights are still twinkling. The majority of the ornaments have found their way to the uppermost part of the tree, because of the little fingers that can't help but remove them several times a day, to which I end up trying to place them just a bit further up on higher limbs. Just out of fingers reach. So the bottom is practically bare. The space it occupies could really house the chair and instand, and maybe even that new recliner I have my eye on at the furniture store.
So, the tree has to go. And since the boss of the tree will be responsible for packing it all back up into the nifty cartons that house it 11 months out of the year, I believe the decision of who is boss of the tree has already been declared years and years ago. Matter of fact, back at our first christmas in 1980. Mike could be the boss of the christmas tree LIGHTS, but I would utimately be the tree boss. I could decide when it gets set up, where it went and how long it stayed. So, although the trees have changed through the years, the BOSS has always been the same.
"Me, Mere." I answered her. "I am the boss of the Christmas tree. Not Bella."
I may have heard a nearly whispered "oh". Or it might has been a collective sigh from behind me in the van. But now there is NO question at all, I am the boss of the Christmas tree.
And I say, tomorrow it comes down.
End of story.
And it feels kinda good to be the boss of something around here.