I wish I could do deep meaningful stuff with my kids all the time. I do. I wish that.
But I can’t.
I wish when we spent special time together it was to knit and garden, sew pants out of upcycled wool, build things out of repurposed tires, visit abstract art museums. Paint, dance, frolic.
But I can’t.
I mean I CAN. Physically, I can.
But I can’t. Mentally. Ya feel me here?
Sometimes, I just need to pay money and do something easy with the kid – a guaranteed win. An outing that’s an “in the bag” kid pleaser with very little work on my part.
You know, like going to the movie theater to watch Wreck It, Ralph with your 5-year-old son, after purchasing on his behalf a large, buttered popcorn, one Sprite, one package of regular Skittles and one package of Sour Patch Kids.
So it’s a PG movie.
So it cost $40.00 we really didn’t have.
So he ate enough preservatives, sugar, additives and chemicals of unknown origin to destroy a few million brain cells.
So we didn’t really talk. Or learn anything of any use AT ALL (except, perhaps that little girls are super mean and say terrible things to each other in the name of competition, which leads me to a WHOLE OTHER blog post topic about bullying and how I'm trying desperately to shelter my kids from this. In turn, I take them to a movie that uses the topic as entertainment. . .ugh).
So it wasn’t deep or profound or particularly meaningful.
And I felt a little guilty that our special date together – our just he & I time – was a few hours sitting in a theater, watching kids made of candy race around a track and try to beat the crap out of each other in the name of winning a measley medal.
But there was no preparation. No thought. No arguments. No cajoling. No disappointment when the child in question gets distracted after 10 minutes – more interested in gluing his finger to the table than furthering the objective of the well-thought-out, real-life craft project.
So it was perfect.
And halfway through the movie he crawled on my lap. And he sat on my lap the whole time. And I smelled his head and kissed his cheek and rubbed his bony little arms. And I watched him laugh when they laughed and get nervous during the fight scenes because you never know – this could be the first time the good guy loses…
And in the car we talked about who’s better: Ralph or King Candy, and he reenacted the fight scenes and I realized I finally know the names of all his favorite superheroes like his daddy does, and he finally got an hour of uninterrupted mom-lap time.
And I gotta say, the whole thing blew wool-felting right outta the water. :)