When we closed on our house, the first things the boys did was hang from and attempt to climb the tree.
Note: Holy moly, have they grown in a year!
Over the past year and not-quite-four-months, we’ve made a lot of memories under that tree. They’ve learned to climb the tree. They’ve gotten stuck in the tree. We painted a robot underneath the tree’s branches.
They’ve searched for blue gold as pirates. And built fort after fort. They’ve sprayed the hose while playing firefighter.
We’ve hung out with friends.
We’ve read many a book.
She’s in pieces. The wind came up so quickly, so suddenly. We knew the storm was making its way in our direction, but it moved faster than we anticipated. Suddenly, the whole house sounded as if it might take leave of its foundation. I stood at the stove, spoon hovering over the pan as I heard, “Our tree broke!” I ran to the living room to see BigBrother standing at the window, a look of sadness on his face.
And it was. Broken. Our tree.
In the grand scheme of bad weather luck, this is not the worst that could have happened. Our backyard neighbors suffered far worse as one of their trees landed on their house. We have minor roof damage from the wind, but nothing major. We are lucky. We are blessed.
But we’re still sad. We nursed our wounds on some ice cream this evening, sitting on the porch as the golden sun came out from behind the clouds and began to sink into the most glorious of sunsets.
My husband pulled me into his arms later. “We’ll plant a new one. Whatever you want.” Others pointed out that the new tree will grow with the boys; it will be their tree. Both boys got excited about whatever new tree we’ll plant and how they’ll love it and climb it… except that by the time it’s climbing-size, they won’t be interested in climbing it or playing ninjas in its branches or painting robots or putting out imaginary fires or sitting underneath the branches on a warm summer evening on The Very Hungry Caterpillar blanket while reading and cuddling and tickling and laughing so hard we all cry a little bit. Or pee.
Yes, we’ll plant a new tree, but I’ll miss this tree and all it meant to our family for the short time we had it in our lives. We’ll make new memories around and, eventually, under a new tree. We’ll lean on one another while we watch it grow.