I've been scanning photos into our home server and realized we didn't take a photo of this. So I wanted to be sure to write about it.
I believe it was the Christmas season of 1984 when Phillip was 3 going on 4. All three of us had started decorating the tree on Saturday. But it got to be past his bedtime and we still hadn't finished. But we put Phillip to bed and told him the tree would be finished when he woke up.
Phillip had never been a quiet child upon waking. When he was still in his crib, waking up would produce some of the loudest crying of the day. When he moved to a "big boy bed" waking up meant running into our bedroom to make sure one of us got up with him.
But that Sunday morning, Joe and I woke up on our own without his help. We were shocked that he had slept in or at least not woken us. We both listened and didn't hear anything. Then got up and looked into his room. He wasn't there.
So we moved on into the living room. There he was.
Gently removing the ornaments and placing them on the cocktail table. The tree that had been fully decorated now had the bottom half bare of ornaments. Just up to, well up to how high he could reach.
We shockingly asked what he was doing. He cried and said that HE wanted to finish decorating the tree. And we shouldn't have finished without him.
From many years that's exactly what we did. When he was in high school we decided that we wanted a more "grown up" tree since ours had been covered with characters from Disney, Star Wars, and more. He protested that idea as well. Until we bought a second tree which he continued to decorate. And when he moved in with Katherine, that's the tree and ornaments he brought along.