My husband really wants my daughter to watch Halloween. You remember it, right? Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the babysitting teen, chased and tormented by Michael Myers; not the one of Shrek fame, but rather the escaped psychiatric inmate and slasher. I hate that movie. I hate scary movies in general, but my daughter is at that tender age where her parents need to show her that it’s never okay to answer the door when she’s home alone and that she can never, ever trust a landline. Life lessons, we haz ‘em.
Thankfully, we’ve decided to scare her with something a little more tame and less likely to occur in real life, which is “LOST”, also known as, “My favorite show, EVER.” Okay, the plane crash could happen, but the chance of landing in paradise with ample fresh water and tubs of Dharma Initiative ranch dressing is not usually the end result. Also, smoke monsters.
In addition to sharing the experience with my daughter, the beauty of rewatching “LOST” is that my husband and I are catching all kinds of stuff that we never noticed the first time around. There are subtle, and not-so-subtle, clues of what’s to come. Our daughter not knowing what’s going to happen is just plain fun for us. We rub our hands together and evil laugh, nod, raise our eyebrows and say, “Hmmm…I wonder what THAT means?” a lot. Then our daughter rolls her eyes.
Of course, getting her to sit down to watch “LOST” means that we’ve pulled her away from “Dr. Who”, “Sherlock” or “Merlin”, which are also good for this spooky season (and all available for streaming on Netflix). They’re not too scary, but they are suspenseful and they make me feel intelligent on account of all the British.
It’s fun to have my daughter at a point in her life where we can introduce her to shows we enjoy. It may not be a traditional milestone, but you can be sure we’re making memories. Anyway, we aren’t a traditional family because when she eventually watches Halloween, I bet my husband will be really proud.
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My kids, both born premature, started their life journeys by consistently missing milestones. Crawling, walking, talking (though, I can attest they have both caught up markedly in that regard), running, jumping – pretty much every chart in their baby books was left untouched until months after a child would typically have it filled.
Needless to say, these breakthroughs have been a huge deal around here. A daughter who didn’t crawl until her first birthday or a son who didn’t speak until he was nearly four years old was cause for long-awaited celebration. They weren’t (and in some cases, still aren’t) just milestones; they are rather enormous landmarks. I’ve been tempted to erect monuments.
Now that they’re 12 and 15, the milestones are less about their existence and more about fun. For instance, my son was recently able to join us on the 93 mph Millennium Force roller coaster at Cedar Point. His next goal is to be tall enough to ride Top Thrill Dragster which goes 120 mph and launches you 420 feet in the air. Don’t judge me because I verified with his cardiologist, TWICE, that it was okay for him to ride them. They are intense, but we love them and when he was finally 48″ at age 12, he loved some of the big coasters too.
With Halloween on the horizon, we’ve started enjoying the experience of watching scary movies with our daughter. Poltergeist didn’t faze her. Probably because she only knows Craig T. Nelson from “Parenthood” and she doesn’t have any concept of The National Anthem playing on the television at 1:30am, then going static for the night. *shudder* The TV always had to be turned off before the static started! Always!
Of course, the milestone I’m most looking forward to is when my daughter will do the dishes without being told, or when my son learns to keep the shower curtain liner inside the bathtub. Those moments will be GREAT! Some I’m less than thrilled about, like my daughter going off to college. Gulp. That one is going to be rough. Like sandpaper on a rug-burn rough.
One thing is for certain, these are the things that make memories. You don’t remember the fifth time your kid rode a bike, but you’ll never forget the first.
I woke up early this morning and thought (because it’s all-consuming right now) about this move to a new home. This time it wasn’t the sentimentality that hit me – I’ve come to terms with the fact that we’re leaving our house of 17 years and it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we are together we will make it a home. That’s sappier than a pine tree, but true.
And, it wasn’t about the work going on in the house – we’ve finished tearing out carpet, landscaping, a good friend installed a new shower, the painters are almost finished, new floors will be down by the end of the week – I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It was about karma and how, as Justin Timberlake so eloquently says, “What goes around comes back around.” I love it when he gets philosophical.
I’d like to say that when I was young I was the picture of manners and kindness, but as kids can be, I was occasionally mean. I didn’t say things to anyone’s face, but I did make fun of a few peers behind their backs. I still feel guilty about it 30+ years later. Kids, what you say to other people affects YOU, too. I was a jerk so you don’t have to be.
One of the fellow students I used to talk about was a boy who sat across from me in 7th grade art class. I made fun of him because he growled at me. Now, I have a son who growls, barks, chirps, flaps, and sometimes exhales so loudly that it sounds like there couldn’t be ONE BIT of air remaining in his lungs. That right there? Karma.
Then in high school, I gossiped about a girl who I thought was overly dramatic. I am now a blogger, so I’m pretty sure that covers the karma department, but last night my husband and I made a very overpriced offer on her current home. When I wrong someone, I pay them back in the 10s of thousands.
So, this morning as I thought of how things feel right and are falling into place because they are supposed to, I heard my husband yelling from the hall bath. I ran in to find one of the kids had clogged the toilet during the night and it was overflowing. There was an inch of water on the bathroom floor and I suddenly heard a familiar dripping sound in the kitchen downstairs.
I ran down to find water pouring through the FRESHLY PRIMED AND PAINTED kitchen ceiling. Never mind the soaking wet counter, cabinets, floor, appliances and cell phone, but the ceiling! I never did anything bad to someone’s kitchen ceiling! What kind of fresh karma is this?
Now that things are cleaned up and I’m bracing myself for the painter’s reaction, I’m wondering what will be coming back to me for the filthy cuss words that were flying from my mouth when I looked up and saw that ceiling. Because suddenly I’m thinking that a bird pooping squarely on my tongue is not going to be out of the question.