“We were talking about Christmas trees in class yesterday and someone asked what our tree was like,” the kiddo stated this morning on the drive to school. “When I said which one, they looked at me kind of funny.”
“Right,” I agreed. “We have several.”
“Mom, we have nine!” The kiddo corrected me.
“Are you sure? I thought it was like four or five,” I countered, truly uncertain of the actual number given several are seasonal/themed trees that stay up year round.
“Trust me, there are nine this year. I counted as soon as you got done decorating last week.”
Of course he knows how many trees we have, I thought to myself. After all, he’s the reason I have nine trees.
When he was little, the kiddo was afraid of dark spaces, particularly the shadowy corners of rooms. This was before we realized he would be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a short year later, back in the days when we offered patented phrases like oh well, that’s just the way it is if there was something he didn’t like or understand.
That same year when I was taking down our Christmas decorations, I was on the last small tree when he commented that while he liked our big tree best, the smaller trees I put up throughout the house helped light up the corners. Several days later it dawned on me, I usually put our smaller trees in dark corners because that’s where I have space.
So this morning I smiled and watched in the rearview mirror as the kiddo finished his statement and grinned at me before taking a sip of his coffee. I’m in awe of the young man my son is becoming—my actually fifteen, looks likes he’s eighteen, forever stuck at four in my heart little boy. Every tree in this house is for him.