Brighter Bulbs

For my own peace of mind I had to tell them.  Didn’t want them to think any other way.  Sure, I can still do it.  No problem.  It’s just, well, maybe its time to let someone else help a little more.  They have always relied on me for this although I have tried to get them to help in the past.  Back then they were not too interested.  Maybe now, if they want it done, they’ll have to help a lot more.

Since I fell, and broke my shoulder blade, they won’t let me do a lot of things anymore.  No climbing on ladders.  I have though.  And no carrying heavy objects.  I do.  Be careful!  We all know, even if we don’t say it, that I was very lucky, and next time, which they  are trying to prevent, I might not be.

So, the Christmas decorations will need some new installers.  I’ve always climbed up the ladder, beyond the safe step, and held the column with one hand and leaned waaaaaaaaay out to attach the string of icicle lights to the gutter on the front porch.  Or leaned the ladder against the wall and held on to nothing more than the mortar joints between the courses of bricks to reach high enough to get the string of lights attached to the gutter over the garage.

The ladder I use is a kind of medium size one.  Too short to easily reach these heights, but not so long as to be unmanageable.  I’ve set up a forty foot extension ladder by myself in the past.  Not easy, even when all your parts work.  So the daredevil contortions are necessary to get the job done.  One year I stood on the roof and leaned over to put the lights on the gutter, but I didn’t like that approach too much.

This year, I went to get my haircut and when I came home my youngest daughter had put up everything but the icicle lights.  And she did a great job of it too.  I adjusted a few placements here and there, just to look like I was still in charge, but she did it.  I still had to do the icicles.  But this year, instead of doing it by myself when everyone else was out shopping, the whole family was there.  Me on the ladder with my wife holding my feet, and my youngest holding the ladder and the oldest holding lights and reaching out to catch me.   The dog was just sitting there watching the whole thing.

I still had to do some daredevil things.  And I realized that I could fall.  I told my wife that this time the bushes would catch me.  More likely impale me.  But I was very careful to be very careful.  More so than in years past.

They put the lights on the Christmas tree too.  I’ve been doing that since I was a kid.  It’s always been my job.  But they did it.  Except for the few adjustments I made when they were done.  Still in command!

It’s hard to admit some things.  Like the fact that time brings changes.  Or that at some point we can’t do the things we used to.  In my mind its tough to accept the fact that my hair is turning grey.  But in their minds, I’m still the dad.  Still the husband.  Still superman.  But the torch is being passed.  And brighter bulbs will soon be in charge.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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