I’ve been accused of over decorating as many times in my life as I’ve been accused of wearing too much pink… or lace.
Clutter, dusting, storage, kitsch… no thanks.
But recently my home has started to present a welcoming invitation through displays of crafty decorations and subtle nods to Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas, and the change of seasons. Done tastefully, simply, and with overwhelming joy.
By my young son.
His enthusiasm for the effort is a wonder to witness. Through the requests he’s made for decorating tips, ideas, and items, I’ve been encouraged to help fulfill his visions. So, I introduced him to Pinterest!
Then, last weekend, I took him to Michaels, as a prequel to Hobby Lobby. Sammy wandered around the aisles, making several full circles through the store, astonished by the options before him. On his first pass by the wreath decorations, he ran his fingers along the four-foot, cream-colored feathers standing upright in a display. On his second pass, he embraced them loosely in a gently hug.
“I can’t stand how soft and light these are, Mom!”
Then we found the candles – a whole aisle. Real – scented, tall, short and fat, buoyant… He and I smelled each scent: floral, seasonal, sweet, earthy, fruity, perfumed. I eventually had to cease the discovery when I started sneezing uncontrollably.
We crossed the aisle to the L.E.D. candles that held the possibility of lasting through multiple seasons and years: twinkle or steady light, with twisty wicks, thin and tall flames, tea or votives, single or multiple packs.
“I need to get out of this aisle before I’m broke,” he said, hoisting his basket and hastening to the next fall decoration display.
Sammy fully intended to pay for all his goodies from his own wallet. As we arrived, I told him I would split the bill with him, half and half. He still conscientiously searched for sparing and sensible choices. In no way, however, did the restraint dampen his excitement.
His eyes danced and the smile on his face spread wider with each discovery. Other customers passed by, witnessing his obvious delight, and their statures softened as they made eye contact with my eager shopper.
After leading him through this one simple store, he may now be prepared for the limitless exploration of Hobby Lobby shelves, without becoming entirely overwhelmed by the possibilities. I envision him quivering with excitement when he enters such hallowed ground.
When we got home that evening, he swept his bags directly to his room where he remained for quite some time, negating even the basic carnal need for food. I heard him as I prepped dinner in the kitchen, exclaiming to himself, audibly deliberating the perfect placement of items, giggling…
He moved in and out of the living room a couple times, focused, accessorizing the already lit strand of candy corn lights with the pinecones he’d just purchased. He consciously staggered them symmetrically. In the middle he placed the large, perfectly-scented candle we labored to find – Vanilla Amber.
Then, having secured a votive candle in his favorite purchase – a small black lantern with a latching/opening glass front door – he traipsed from room to room in our home with the gentle light swaying beside him.
When he and I – and of course his dog – lay on his bed for our nighttime reading, he was looking around, practically vibrating.
“Thank you so much, Mom. I love my new decorations. I’ve never been so happy in my room in my whole life.”
I never considered the statement, “I decorate for my kids” from this perspective before. Now I know the power of my child’s authentic, simple, genuine, overwhelming joy. He is inspired to offer this joy to others through his decorating, generously sprinkling the confetti of love along the way.
Do I decorate? No. But my home is warm with love because my son carries that torch for the both of us.