On Saturday, December 5th, we ate a quick dinner at our house and then loaded up the boys to head to our small town's Christmas tree lighting! Even though we've lived here for 5 years, Aaron & I had yet to go to the town tree lighting. This year I figured the boys would be big enough to enjoy it and I really wanted to go. Aaron knew that, and he was sweet to make it happen.
We got there a little early, so we let the boys run around for a bit. In our town, the post office shares a small brick building with the Town Hall and the Police Office. Right next door is a metal building that houses the volunteer fire department. Next to the fire department is a small grassy area where a Christmas-tree-shaped large bush resides. The fire fighters set up a light display, and had two sets of bleachers set up for residents. There was a trailer decorated with poinsettias and an American flag painted on a wooden pallet and a microphone.
Aaron and I led the boys to the light display where Michael pointed out what he saw: "a reindeer, words, and a doghouse." Translated, this means yes, a wooden reindeer figure, Christmas lights spelling out Merry Christmas, and a manger scene made of wooden pallets (ie, the doghouse).
I hardly took any pictures because I was pretty busy watching blood sugar trends on the CGM and making sure the boys didn't run into the side of the bleachers.
The boys ran around for a good while. I had packed a Special K Pastry Crisp in my bag because we knew it was a possibility that Michael's blood sugars might go low as they tend to do when he's out of his element. We let the boys run around for a bit until we could tell Michael was dropping. So we let them choose our seats on the bleachers and we sat down and gave them their snack. This was a free snack for Michael. We chose not to administer any insulin because we wanted the carbs in this pastry crisp (ie, small, fancy Pop-tart) to raise his blood sugar.
Families slowly trickled in during this time. Some kids were not well behaved and I gave myself a mental gold star for making sure my kids were momentarily tame.
Eventually the program got started and the fire chief (I'm assuming) spoke, and had a moment of silence for all the troops serving in our country. Then the mayor spoke and welcomed us all to the tree lighting. During this time, Noah decided he'd rather be running amok than sitting calmly in my lap eating his snack. So, the entire time the mayor spoke, I was singing "row row row your boat," or "itsy bitsy spider," or reciting "patty cake," just to keep Noah quiet and contained.
Our town hall area is next to our only four way traffic stop. Across the street and caddy-corner from the town hall/ fire dept is an old post office building and behind it is a gravel parking area where tractor trailer drivers park to take a nap. Once the mayor finished her speech, she led the town in counting down 3, 2, 1, and the tree lights came on! Then the fire chief got on his walkie-talkie and gave the signal, and told us a special guest would be arriving. Here comes Santa Claus himself riding on a sleigh pulled on a trailer behind a fire dept pick-up truck. They were parked behind the old post office and waiting til the tree lights came on before they made their grand entrance.
Santa pulled in front of the fire department and went inside to his special chair. The mayor invited everyone over to the fire department for refreshments and to see Santa. How I wanted to take the boys! I think they would have loved it! There was a reasonable size crowd in attendance, but not an overwhelming amount. We checked Michael's CGM and he was still dropping despite his snack. We knew we had to head on home in order to give Michael another snack. We couldn't afford to wait in line. The mayor made a point of coming up to us and telling the boys there were cupcakes inside. Thanks, lady. Of course, this made Michael cry as we heading to the car because he knew we weren't going to get to have cupcakes. I cried too, because diabetes was winning. I buckled Noah in his seat with tears in my eyes as Aaron buckled in Michael while we tried to explain to him that we were going home to get a snack instead.
Next year, I told myself, even if I've gotta load this backpack with jelly and spoons and juice boxes, I am going to make sure my kids get the full experience here and I will not let diabetes win.
We drove past the lit Christmas tree and I made note that the boys enjoyed the experience as it was, and it was okay to go home before the crowds.
Here's the display of pictures I managed to take:
Apparently, I didn't get one of the tree after it was lit, but there it is prior to the lighting. The spotlights shone bright enough on the wooden pallet American flag to make it look like a TV, but it's really just a wooden flag.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into small town life!
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba