Sunday, January 13, 2008

Moving pictures

Please, don't ask me to analyze why it is that I struggle so with change. Just know that I've always been like this, the happy, beady-eyed ostrich with my head stuck firmly but comfortably in the sand whenever a new page threatens to turn.

My trio of muppers wasn't born just yesterday?
Pshaw: they're infants! Infants, I tell you.

Our five-year-old is ready for sleepovers now?
Begone, and take your blasphemy elsewhere.

You suggest, as gently as possible, that perhaps it's time to exchange cribs for big-kid beds?
But they're not even three yet! For five whole days!

And you have the audacity to suggest a movie for our Sunday afternoon entertainment?
Well, sure. Why not? Afterward, we can stop by the tattoo parlor.

Okay: so I was really pushing it on that last one. And yes, I knew it, too.

But suffice it to say that it was a rough weekend for the ostrich. The muppers, however, they've never known such glee. And their cute daddy's been wearing a smug grin about it all.

First, there was, in fact, the sleepover. Totally unprepared was I to receive a call from our favorite neighbor family, inviting Carter to stay the night with his friend Daniel.

With some prodding from Trey, I mulled it over. Thought about how much fun he and not-quite-five-year-old Daniel have whenever they play, whether it's at the park, on the soccer field or at either of our houses.

Thought about how highly we regard Daniel's family. Realized that sleepovers probably would be happening sooner or later, and what better way to begin than at a house that's just a few doors down from ours, in the event of a midnight phone call asking for a return to one's own bed?

So, with only a shadow of hesitation remaining, I pitched the idea to Carter, who was pretty excited about the whole shebang. And, of course, the boys had a great time, there was no midnight call and Trey and I were stunned at how quiet and melancholy our house seemed with one less person around.

One milestone down. Two to go.

Finally feeling better after a week of infirmity, Trey woke up this morning with a mission: to clean out the garage. Not to clean out the whole thing, mind you, but to create a little space. A little space that, just coincidentally, could hold two cribs, if two cribs were to be deemed unnecessary.

As of tonight, anyway, the space is still just a space. The cribs are still in place. But the clock, it is ticking over my head. Which is in the sand. Sigh.

Last but not least: the big screen.

For weeks now, Carter's been asking to see a movie. It's a reasonable request, I suppose; he's only ever seen one movie in a theater, and that was nearly two years ago. And my no-media-is-good-media parental stance of old no longer has legs.

Spencer and Katie, they had yet to experience the cinema. As a result, no doubt, of my aforementioned stingy attitude toward children's programming, they're pretty easily rattled by anything more intense than an episode of Little Einsteins.

Oh, sure: they've seen The Jungle Book. And Toy Story. Cars, too. But each of these viewings has been, at some point, punctuated by wails of "Too scary! Too scary!"

So we try not to mention Cinderella when Spencer's in earshot. Curious George, the same movie Carter loved as a three-year-old, has been deemed verboten. And they still speak of Little Mermaid in hushed, awed tones.

So, an actual movie in a real theater, sitting in chairs that don't belong to us and eating exotic snacks like popcorn and Twizzler: it's a pretty big deal. Choices must be carefully weighed and analyzed.

In the end, the decision was made for us. Somehow, Carter had learned of a nifty movie called The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, and, whaddayaknow? There was a two o'clock showing close to our house.

It certainly didn't hurt that BooMama had given the flick an enthusiastic kid-friendly review, because I had no firsthand knowledge of the movie's talking, singing vegetables.

You know what? It was really not a bad way to spend ninety minutes and, well, a hundred bucks. Not that I'm counting.

Predictably, more popcorn was spilled than eaten. Multiple potty breaks were required. Whispering voices got louder and louder as the movie wore on. And "Too scary! Too scary!" was invoked repeatedly, to the delight, I am sure, of our fellow moviegoers.

But when the ostrich gingerly raised her head, she saw three gorgeous, happy kiddos entranced by the pictures on the big screen, (mostly) loving the whole experience. She saw them growing right before her very eyes, and she knew that it was good.

She saw a father who didn't even blink when his children, the lights of his life, used his shirt as a giant napkin for their small buttery hands. Who laughed when they got the giggles, and wrapped his arms around them when they were frightened.

She was moved. It was moving. And I'm not saying that I'm ever going to embrace change, but: my feathers that were so ruffled before? Are feeling pretty smooth right about now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you SO PROUD. and a little teary at the whole derned thing.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

It is so hard to let go! I'm so proud of you as well!!

I'm with ya mama! They grow up way to fast but we do have to enjoy every minute of it!

And when you need to regress back in time, you'll know where you can go and get some baby twin love!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can't wait to see everybody this weekend...I can't believe it was three years ago that I was getting y'all ready for those babies. I'm tearing up just thinking about it..

LOVing the job..Learned how to make bridesmaids bouquets on Sat. SOOooo cool.

xox mrm

12:58 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Oh Amy. oh my.

5:53 AM  

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