Thursday, September 16, 2010
I was 5 years old and couldn't sleep. Outside my bedroom door, I could hear the muffled voices of my parents and the hum of the television.
It was too much for me to resist, for some reason, on that night.
I went out to the living room. Immediately, I saw the plate of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, a treat we never had, on the coffee table. My eyes were fixed.
I really wanted one.
My parents gave in, and I snuggled onto the couch between them, the frosting too sweet for words.
Five-year-old me couldn't have asked for anything better - until she realized what was on TV.
I didn't know what it was, but just as instantly as my tummy had rumbled for those cinnamon rolls, my mind (my soul) was glued to that television.
On the screen, a teenager was driving a DeLorean at 88 miles per hour through a mall parking lot.
A wild-eyed scientist had just been shot. "Run for it, Marty!" rang in my ears.
This was my introduction to "Back to the Future." And I was head over heels in love.
I still am.
The movie that captured my heart 25 years ago turns 25 years old this year.
To celebrate Marty McFly's trip back in time to 1955 (where he accidentally meddles with his parents' romance), the flux capacitor, Doc Brown ("Great Scott!) and all other things "Back to the Future," Omaha's Film Streams theater is showing the movie for almost two weeks.
Yeah. I'm going to need to get a babysitter for this one.
And maybe multiple times.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
He's only 5.
He's only in kindergarten.
Yet, a few days ago, Rye had a note.
From a girl.
I saw him smirking in the backseat after I picked him up from school.
"What are you smiling about?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said, and quickly pretended like he hadn't been staring at the small piece of paper in his hands. In fact, he tried hiding that piece of paper, as if I hadn't already seen it.
I couldn't see what it said, though, and this really got me. Oh, how I wanted to see what was on that tiny rectangle!
I let it go, though. I'm trying to realize that my kids are their own people and they are allowed to have feelings (and all sorts of other things) that they don't have to share with Mommy.
I didn't say I like this very much, but I do realize it's the case.
Later that night, after dinner, Rye was lounging in the living room, watching a movie. I noticed he was holding onto the same small piece of paper.
My curiosity got the best of me.
I pretended to be cleaning up the living room. Really, I just wanted to see what was so important about that note.
On one side, someone had drawn stars and smiley faces. On the other side, someone had colored and written her name:
And I bit my tongue.
Even though I desperately want to know who Chloe is (and what her parents do, if she has blonde hair like Mommy and how this relationship began - recess? gym? hand holding during story time?), I let it go.
I chose instead to be happy for my little boy, that he had a new friend who liked him well enough to draw him a picture.
A picture that made him happy.
Isn't that what we all want ultimately? Happy kids?
Right now, it's enough for me.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I bought the box of Cheerios months ago for my daughter, who is now 15 months old.
She never really wanted any. Yet, still the box sat, largely untouched in the kitchen pantry. She might change her mind, I thought. Better keep it.
When I began packing for our move a couple weeks ago, that box of cereal moved to a Rubbermaid tub on the kitchen floor. Paige has enjoyed the new "toys" that have surfaced on her level in that tub. There, she discovers such treasures as pens, flour, half-eaten bags of tortilla chips, aluminum foil and cereal boxes.
Last night as I finished dinner, Paige was playing in the kitchen.
I heard it first. The sound was a bit like sand being thrown onto the sidewalk or rice being shaken in its container.
I turned my head to see Paige, upended cereal box in hand, several Cheerios on the floor.
I had plenty of time to react. To yell, "No! Paaaige! Don't do that!" (Can you almost hear me saying that?).
But I didn't.
And then she dumped the rest of the cereal out.
All of it. All over the floor.
And as those tiny circles of cereal that I don't blame her for not liking rained down on my floor and scattered throughout the dining room and the kitchen, I laughed even harder.
This moment, for whatever reason, I chose to enjoy. And it wasn't a conscious decision either. It was just what came out.
I loved it.
And as I sat there smiling, watching the crumbs stick to my daughter's feet as she ran across the field of cereal she'd planted on my laminate, her laughter was the sweetest sound I'd ever heard.
I realized that these moments are worth laughing about.
I realized that these moments will be gone too quickly.
I realized that before I know it my babies' evenings will be filled with things like baseball practice and homework and phone calls or (dear God help me) Facebook.
These babies might not always want Mom around to laugh with.
I realized, as I stared at all that cereal, that this was a moment to hold onto. Like that lock of hair from their first haircuts.
To keep in my memory as not a mess to clean up but a time we all laughed together with nothing else alive in that room but each other.