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Sometimes I wonder if I’m trying too hard to create memories that my children will be too young to remember. Does that sound silly?
Saturday night, I thought it would be fun to take them to look at Christmas lights. I looked up some places online and found at least one location where there was supposed to be a house with lights and music. I asked Mr. V if he’d take us out to dinner first, and we promised Libbie that if she took a nap she could stay up and watch a movie on TV.
We had just strapped David into the high chair at the little Chinese restaurant when he started screaming bloody murder for “SOMETHING EAT MOMMY PLEASE” and wriggling relentlessly. So Mr. V quickly decided on dinner and left with David to walk around a store next door rather than make the small Saturday night crew of kung pao-eaters listen to his wails.
The kids ate minuscule amounts of lo mein, I forced down some just-OK pork while blowing my nose and trying to pretend this cold wasn’t getting worse.
We got back in the car after wrestling David a little more and telling Libbie if she didn’t stop crawling under the table we would make her eat a mushroom. (Somehow I don’t think threatening with vegetables is probably a good parenting method.) I said something to the note of “we are going to have fun whether you like it or not,” which may or may not have influenced David’s cries of, “WHEE! SO FUN!” and choruses of “Happy Birthday to Mommy” while we drove.
One unsure turn and some dark roads later, we found the neighborhood we sought … and some gently-lit houses and lanterns. No gaudy lights. No music. We drove around a little more, and the kids were truly happy to see blow-up snowmen and blue lights on houses. We didn’t find anything extravagant, but it was OK.
We drove the 25 minutes home, and David’s “whee” had become fussing and fighting with his sister. We put him to bed, and Libbie did get to stay up and watching Despicable Me with Mommy and Daddy, munching on pretzels and cuddling. She loves those movie nights.
But it all caused me to question, am I trying too hard? Do I remember anything from being 4? I certainly want to make a warm, loving home and establish some Christmas traditions … but maybe it’s too early. Maybe dinners out and long drives are for older kids.
Or maybe I just spend way too much time in introspection.
What do you think?