The last time we went to the tree lighting downtown was years and years ago, long before kids were in the picture. So yesterday morning I said to David, "We should go tonight!" and he said "OK!"
We're still living relatively close to downtown for this one last Christmas, and the kids are big enough to walk by themselves, appreciate the tree, and not fall completely apart if we get home a tad past bedtime. It seemed like a good year to go.
We took MAX down, which of course was Christian's favorite part. Except at every stop we made he would pound on the window and yell about how he wanted to move again. That wasn't at all weird. Daph sat by herself because she is just too cool for school (and us).
Downtown was crowded and crazy but the kids didn't mind. We finally found a place to stand and Christian became a little upset about being surrounded by 1000s of legs. He just wanted to get back on the train.
But he was enthralled by the actual tree lighting. It really was beautiful, and he didn't take his eyes off of it, no matter where we walked and how he had to twist his neck.
Afterward is when things got a little tricky. We stopped into Ben and Jerry's for a little snack, and if you've ever been into that downtown one you know it's matchbox tiny. Then fill it with tree-lighting crowds and figure if there's some sort of emergency everyone's just going to be stuck in there, unable to move. The kids were being loopy, dancing in line even though we were trying to keep them calm. Daphne finally took a big tumble backwards and hit the back of her head on the wall. She fussed a bit and then all was fine. Except for a few minutes later when we noticed a streak of red on her nose. (Did she get a nose bleed from hitting the back of her head? Weird.) And then Christian's hands were covered in red. And then the floor. And the wall. And what? Then we noticed the back of Daphne's blonde hair getting redder by the second. Apparently she'd cut her head pretty badly and now the tiny Ben and Jerry's full of people was starting to look like a crime scene. It was gross and, I'll admit, embarrassing.
Fortunately most people there were in good spirits from such a fun event. (I'm sure it would be different if we were trying to buy half price socks at 5AM or something. I have a feeling that crowd wouldn't have been quite as accommodating.) Now I'm not quite sure what to do about her poor head. Blonde hair shows blood really well, but cleaning it out has proved difficult. Maybe she'll just wear a hat for a few days.
So, I think last night was fun? I don't if I want to do it again anytime soon, at least not with little kids. Maybe next year we'll just watch it on TV. I'm sure there would be less chance of blood.
**I just checked her head this morning...her wound is like 3 inches long!! Poor little thing. No wonder there was so much blood.