Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Movie Night

About once a month, Friday Night is Family Movie Night. It is pretty simple. . .Allie picks a movie, Allie picks the necessary junk food that we will all share during the movie and Allie insists that all the lights are turned out - so she can feel like she is in a real movie theatre (even though we can pause it for a bathroom trip!). . .and she loves these times - sometimes I think even more than going to the movies!

I asked Allie the next day why she loves it so much - why she likes it more than going to the movies. She gave me the most simple - yet powerful answer - because we are all snuggling together on the same couch, Daddy isn't reading a newspaper, Mommy isn't on the phone or on the computer or doing laundry. We are all doing the same thing she said, at the time time, as a FAMILY.

It made me stop and think. . .I consider myself a pretty involved and attentive mommy. And while Daddy tends to work his tush off, when he is home he is always happy to read with Allie or play a game with her - in between those passions that men have (reading the newspaper and napping). But what I realized is that when he is doing something with Allie, I am usually off blogging or cleaning or chatting on the phone or sometimes a mommies' night out and when he is vegging with the newspaper, I am usually playing with Allie, or she is playing by herself or often she has a playdate over.

And while we do quite a bit together as a family outside of the home, I think when we are at home we clearly aren't doing family togetherness as much as I think we are. . .I was even thinking about when we are in the swimming pool. Either we have friends over and everyone is in and out at different times or I am in with Allie or Daddy is in the pool with Allie - it has been a long time since the 3 of us were just in the pool together. I guess sometimes I take advantage of when Rich is home to divide and conquer - he is playing with Allie and so I am tending to other "stuff".

And what I realized by the simplicity of Allie's comment about Family Movie Night is that perhaps with this New Year approaching, Daddy & I need to make a more concentrated effort to just have some simple Family time at home together. . .I know I get caught up in always making plans and its gives me the jitters to think I might have a weekend coming up with no plans and OMIGOSH, won't we all be bored? But there is a difference between doing nothing and spending some quality time as a Family together. . .and while Allie is the first person to want a playdate with someone, I also hear her saying that she loves her Mommy & Daddy time and so perhaps this Mommy needs to bring it in a little and not always rush to make plans and run and go and do. Maybe I need to listen to what Allie is saying and try to devote more than one night a month to some simple, family togetherness time at home. . .

Or maybe she just loved the unlimited junk food that night??? :-)

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Lis Garrett said...

The one thing I regret about having three kids (that sounds bad, doesn't it) is how fractured our time is together. There's really no such thing as a family activity in our house, because there is ALWAYS one kid who doesn't like what we're doing, won't cooperate, is in a bad mood, is too young, too old, etc. And usually my husband or I are chasing Bridget, getting Jacob to calm down, apologizing to Hannah for little brother or sister being disruptive . . .

You have such a special opportunity to spend some REAL quality time with your daughter, and I envy you that. Obviously she cherishes your time together. :-)

Jenni Jiggety said...

It is probably:
family time/snack food

Even still, those are pretty good numbers and we have to grab up all the family time we can now before they get too cool to hang around with us! :-D