Friday, May 6, 2016

My Favorite Thing To Do With My Mommy

My 4yr old made me a banner at school this week for Mother's Day.  It had a sweet hand print, an adorable picture of him and a statement about his favorite thing to do with his mommy.  I was all smiles until I got to the end of it.  "My favorite thing to do with my mommy is watch TV."  WATCH...TV.  WHAT??  Ok, I know one of his teachers asked him the question while he was in the middle of something extremely fun and he likely spouted off the first thing that came to his mind, but this one kind of hurt.  My dear, sweet, eldest son Noah is my best friend.  He cooks dinner with me almost every night, he and I read special big boy books every night after his brother is in bed, I swim in a freezing cold pool with him every Sunday, yesterday I had Master Christopher teach ME a couple of freakin' Tae Kwon Do moves so I could practice with him. I am not a perfect mother, but of all the things I do with him, him choosing TV was not something I immediately understood.  Heck, most of the time I'm reminding him and his brother that they can only watch one or two shows on weekdays, and I'm not even with them while they do it,  I'm finishing working, showering or putting dinner on the table.  But sometimes, if I'm ahead of my game with work or we're eating leftovers or I decide not to shower (ha, sorry, it happens), and most certainly on the weekends when we watch a movie or something as a family, I AM with them while they watch.  Noah and his little brother will take turns cuddling with me under a soft Star Wars blanket and we lay there, quiet, squeezing, hugging, tickling and laughing.  Noah calls me his "cuddle girl" and will give me lots of kisses and will tell me he loves me and that he loves "hangin' out" with his family.  His brother will move him out of the way to have a cuddle-turn and I will always gladly make room in my arms for both.  It is, well, awesome.  We do a lot of fun, quality things together everyday, but 2 and 4yr old boys are rarely quiet and still.  And, really, neither are their mamas.  It occurred to me that he must appreciate a time when I'm not on the move, or talking to (or at) them, a time when his mom is just quiet and still with him.  I can close my eyes in those moments when I am laying with them and feel, truly down deep in my soul, that there's no place I would rather be, nothing that makes me feel quite as full.  I have those moments when I'm watching them play together outside or when we're doing fun,active things together, too.  But the special-ness of a close cuddle on the couch - I get it.  And I realize my ability to cuddle with them in this way won't last forever.  We'll (hopefully) always eat together and play sports and go on fun trips.  But one day, they'll be too big to lay with me on the couch.  They won't even want to.  And I'll long for the day that my sweet babies just wanted to be super close to me more than anything else in the world.  For me, that will never end.  Thinking about it in that way, perhaps my favorite thing to do with my sons is watch TV, too.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Wet Hot American Post-Kids Friday Night

Ok, so it’s 7:22pm on a Friday night. Let me guess. You and your spouse are finishing up bedtime with the kids and fantasizing. Not of a romantic dinner out and hours of nookie after. No, no, no, the post-kids Friday night fantasy goes a little differently. You’re anxiously waiting to hear the doorbell because it means the sushi has arrived, you can almost taste the cheap Trader Joe’s red wine on your lips, and oooooh so soon you will be hearing the most exciting sound...the opening credits of [fill in whatever series you and your hubs are currently obsessed with]. Yes, honey, I’ll go get the soy sauce and you pour the drinks. You’ll figure out where we left off (because one of you ALWAYS falls asleep in the middle of an episode), while I change into my sexiest sweatpants. I understand that communicating and connecting with each other is very important in a marriage but, lezbehonest, sometimes you just need to be able to sit silently next to the person you love, eat your damn sushi, and get in touch with your inner Heisenberg. And, why not?

It Reinforces Your Vows.
On your wedding day, you likely vowed to be true and faithful to your spouse. That shit doesn’t just apply to physical cheating. If you’re watching episodes of a show you watch together behind your spouse’s back, that’s a friggin' betrayal. And if it’s the series finale of the show, well, you should probably call a lawyer, because you deserve to be left. Just kidding. Well, not really.

 It Teaches You To Be Patient.
Sometimes life and marriage are about playing the long game. If you and your spouse stuck through Lost until the end, you can get through anything together.

It Makes You A Better Person.
Friday Night Lights will make you a better wife and make your husband a better husband. Forget couples counseling -- watching 5 seasons of Coach T and Mrs. T work through the challenges that wayward West Texas teens, a crushing pressure to win and an alien baby daughter throw their way, all while never, ever wavering on their love and respect for each other will have you reflecting on your relationship in a whole new way. Clear eyes, full hearts. Seriously.

 It Reminds You Of What’s Really Important.
The magazines say the secret to a good marriage is having a regular date night, communicating, not going to bed mad, blah blah blah. But I sort of think that the secret to marriage is liking your spouse enough to just be with them. No frills, no fancy restaurants, no distractions of friends. Just being perfectly content sitting in a room, in comfy pjs, debating whether lesbians should really be placed in female prisons or frantically theorizing about whether John Snow is actually dead (he’s not, is he???). My hubs and I have been together a million years so we were on the binge-watching train well before having kids, and to this day some of our favorite memories include watching 17 episodes of Lost in a row while only breaking to go buy chicken nuggets and ice cream, and buying bootlegged copies of seasons 2/3 of Mad Men on a street in Thailand during our honeymoon. Sure, I also appreciate fancy spas and nice restaurants, but ultimately, before and after kids, I just enjoy being in the same room as him. Especially if it includes sushi and wine.