Saturday, November 08, 2014
Date Night Bliss
It's rare he and I get out alone, because we don't have family living anywhere close and these days it costs $10/hour for a sitter. By the time you have dinner and a movie, you've spent $40 just on the hired help! It's rather cost-prohibitive.
A family from school invited both our kiddos over for a sleep-over with their children (same ages, same genders). The fact that this fellow mom was willing to deal with 4 children all night and most of this morning with the sole intent of giving us a date night makes me feel as though I need to stop at a florist on the way to picking up the kids and bring her flowers to say, "Thanks!" That is no small feat.
Once we dropped the kids off, Hubby and I met some of his former co-workers at a small red-neck bar on the water, where we had a drink outdoors and said our goodbyes to a young man who was moving out-of-state for another job. We laughed a lot. Those co-workers are witty, sarcastic and oh-so-fun.
Next stop was the theater to see Interstellar. It's the movie about a group of space explorers who use a newly discovered wormhole to travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life, as humanity faces extinction on earth. Overall, it was an interesting and entertaining movie.
Our last stop before heading home was dinner at a quaint late-night eatery with good comfort food and a gregarious owner who was so interesting we invited her to pull up a chair and chat with us during our meal.
This morning, we awoke to silence. No child opening our bedroom door at 6:30 a.m. to see when we were getting up. No need to fix anyone breakfast. No pleading for t.v., playdates or leftover Halloween candy. No homework struggles. Just blissful silence. I laid in bed for a while and just soaked up the quiet, letting my own thoughts dance around my head for a while before getting up.
I don't have to get the kids for another 4 hours. I think I'll ignore the homework and work-related writing that's calling my name and indulge instead in a bubble bath and a good book.
When's the last time you had a date night?
Friday, November 07, 2014
Family Rules and Values
As Snuggle Bug and Boo grow older, we're discovering these rules aren't as easy to follow as they used to be.
#2 is challenging for Snuggle Bug as of late. At nine years old, his little sister is considered less of a friend and playmate and more of a nuisance or a pest, particularly when he has his friends around. He has a tendency to speak his frustrations with her aloud, at times using rather harsh tones and words.
#4 and #5 seem to be a tough ones for Boo these days. Who knew a 7-year-old could act so sassy and disrespectful one minute and sweet-as-pie the next.
A common phrase I use with my children is, "Our family doesn't..." or "Our family believes..." to remind them our family values are more important than following what friends or others consider to be permissible.
As our children age, it's becoming more clear we are no longer the center of their universe and are no longer their sole source of influence.
On one hand, not being the center of their universe is a positive. It means they're gaining a sense of independence. They're forming their own opinions and interests. These developmental changes are exciting to watch unfold and the resulting conversations can be amazing.
On the other hand, realizing friends and acquaintances are gaining an increasing amount of influence over them is scary. It feels as though we're more frequently in defensive mode, attempting to solidify and justify the foundation of our core family values with our children, as they are exposed to more varying shades of "acceptable behavior" amongst their peers.
So, Ornozo and I muddle our way through these parenting challenges that change with each passing year. Some days we're on the same page, other days we're not. We realize the importance of presenting a united front to our children, but at times it seems to be easier said than done.
If only parenting came with a clearly outlined instruction manual.