Making It Magical
It’s not just some kind of goal I hold myself to alone. I think it falls under the umbrella of mom guilt. It’s something I talk to other moms about and it’s this weird thing I consistently struggle with. There’s a meme floating around social media that says something like, we don’t need to actively make kids’ lives magical because they already are magical. So then of course I’m not the first or even 20th person to touch upon this subject, yet again and again I feel guilty at the end of the day if we didn’t “do something”. I’m not talking like scheduled events and activities. I’m talking the days when we stay home ALL day, so I can get caught up on housework and little odds and ends that come up daily, weekly and monthly.
Or what about the days that I really don’t feel like getting up and at ‘em? And those days are numbered, really. Vivi will be going to preschool and in a flash she’ll be in kindergarten. There will be more places to be, rides to be given, things to show up for. We won’t have the luxury of spending the day at home in our own little magical world. I know it’s a luxury.
It’s helpful to put down the phone, like Samm talked about this week. I live very close to a park that always has a lot going on, and near beaches, and a cool downtown. But what I don’t know won’t hurt me. When I see other moms and kids having a blast at a splash pad, I think, “Oh shit, I’m the reason my kids are missing out on so much fun! I need to provide them with opportunities for as much fun as possible!” But do I really? And maybe some of those moms I’m seeing on the world wide web were going to go insane if they didn’t get out of the house, and anywhere was better than being stuck inside.
I have days when I feel ready to tackle a kid mob scene and I actually have fun taking Vivi and Billy to these toddler magnets. But sometimes I have a day or multiple days in a row where I just don’t have the motivation for that shit! It’s a lot of fucking work with these maniacs! I constantly have this internal struggle with myself about what I “should” be doing. So this past week I’ve really tried to consciously calm the fuck down about it. Did my mother do this to herself? I really don’t think so. Not about kid entertainment at least. I remember playing with Barbies and also making booby traps in my backyard out of Chinese jump rope. Nothing pathetic to see here, folks! No, but seriously, I remember finding shit to do. I also wonder what the hell my mother was doing. She definitely wasn’t jumping on the computer and seeing what everyone else was doing at that very moment and feeling like we were missing out.
I think those kid mob scene places were sort of special occasions for me. Life was mostly spent in and around home and my cousins’ homes. I’m not trying to be all self-righteous here and tell you dumping all the toys out in my living room is way fucking better than all the fun places you’re taking your kids. I’m just trying to make myself, and maybe you, feel better about the days when you aren’t doing shiiiit. Kids don’t know what they’re missing. They aren’t on Facebook. They’re not texting. I have to try not to look back on my childhood from the adult perspective I have now. I’m trying to remember the experience as it was through my weird booby trap making kid eyes. What was I trying to trap you ask? I don’t know? A friend? I was an only child for 11 years.
I specifically remember the day playing Barbies stopped being fun. I remember picking one up and making her talk about going to the mall or a Hawaiian pool party, whateverthefuckhaveyou. And I remember thinking, eh this feels forced. It’s actually kind of sad because it was in some sense, the end of some innocence there. So I try to keep in mind that right now, my kids are basically living in a lala, super fantastic, all is good in the world (more or less), fantasy fun land right here in this very fucking living room!
And there will come a day when they abruptly will leave that world and enter this tougher, but still great, but more unforgiving, but thrilling “real” world. They’re going to require a little bit more, need a bit more stimulation. I have a feeling I will yearn pretty damn hard for these days of lounging and eating snacks and playing blocks and reading books and dancing and getting mooned by Vivi.
Things are relatively simple now. And I’m grateful for that. So I’m going to stop trying to complicate that simplicity with my own convoluted adult brain and just let the magic happen. That sounded so much better before I reread those last few words. Why does everything have to sound like an innuendo?! You know what I meant!