From the unpublished vault! A lovely day. 🙂
Today started like any other holiday Monday: the kids were sweet and busy, I had a long list of to dos, and I can’t say I was exactly full of energy. Dave had to work late, so knowing that I’d be alone with the toddlers during the witching hour was part of my slow start. Then I got a text from Sassy, who really wanted to take the kids to see the film Paddington. I wasn’t sold; we really tried to avoid screen time for the kids, and going to a movie without Dave felt a little hollow. Still, the idea of some quality time with Sassy for all of us seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up!
We could not have had a better time. The kids were hilarious. Remy yelled out “TOMBÉ!” (“Fell down!”) every time someone fell while Tess was busy telling me what she saw on each screenshot in great detail. We ordered some popcorn and watched as the kids devoured two buckets over the course of an hour and a half. They loved the movie and so did we.
As an aside, I’ve really been astounded by how much children’s literature – well known children’s literature that I have read an experienced over the course of my life – has to do with adoption or family that comes from more than blood. The message is heartening, beautiful, and gives us so many opportunities to talk about adoption while the kids are still young. We want to instill these values – that adoption is one way of forming a family, that people can love you and not be with you, that life can be complicated and wonderful and confusing, and that’s okay. We struggle to find words for that every day, and yet here it plays out on screen in front of me, couched in stories I have loved since I had them read to me. Those themes make Paddington bear, Winnie the Pooh, and many superheroes even more fun for us to explore than they might’ve been otherwise.
After our movie and popcorn, we headed down to our neighborhood and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants with Joy, our au pair who came to join us. Other than the remarkable moment when Tess poured her entire cup of milk down the front of her dress, we had a lovely time. The kids were excited to be with Sassy. I loved having reinforcements at dinner, and it felt like a smaller, quieter version of the family dinners I love.
After we ate, we all came back to our house, where Sassy read the kids their bedtime story and help me tuck them in. Then we got to chitchat for about an hour and just catch up on life. That kind of conversation is surprisingly hard to come by when there’s so much going on every single minute you’re together. She complemented my parenting, which makes me puff up like a proud buffoon every time. To have a woman who raised six strong personalities tell you you’re doing a good job is pretty head swelling stuff!
As we wrap up Martin Luther King day, which already has so much more meaning as I walk down the street with my black and white children, I feel my heart bursting with happiness. Life is messy and complicated and beautiful. Right now the beautiful part is definitely on top. The dinner and a movie tradition definitely had to come from somewhere! So much fun.