Earlier tonight, we went out for some family fun. I use the term "fun" loosely because (and I think I've mentioned this before) we really don't do fun things. We may attempt to have fun now and again, but ultimately our (my?) dreams of having fun come crashing down upon us.
For instance. Tonight we went to a tree lighting ceremony. Not in our city, but a neighboring town where the Mayor attends school. So it's kind of our community, but totally not our community. We went because of the former, not the latter.
I've been to (and performed in) many a tree lightings in my day, but this was the first time we've gone to this particular event. In fact, it was our first official tree lighting as a family (on account of not doing the fun things). So none of us knew what to expect or where to even be exactly. But thankfully the town is small and even if you happen to be in the wrong place, you're a stone's throw from the right place.
Nevertheless. The kids needed dinner. So after getting the lay of the land, we went to the pizza place in the center of town and got back to the park with time to spare (and eat pizza). Then some school kids (including my favorite Fourth grader who requests to have my cupcakes for her birthday) sang before the man, the mystery, the legend himself, Santa showed up!
Miss Thing could not even. By the end of the evening, I figured out that she is in-part shy/apprehensive about Santa and in-part confused about him even being there (I mean, doesn't he have a workshop to be attending to up in the North Pole?! And his sleigh shouldn't be down here, it belongs in the sky! AND WHERE IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK ARE HIS REINDEER?!)
So off the cuff comes the narrative of how at this time of year, Santa is an emissary of sorts, on his Christmas PR campaign/press tour, making visits at shopping malls and tree lightings and other special events. Shaking hands and kissing babies.
BUT WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE REINDEER?!?!?
Oh, well...they are, of course, stashed away somewhere...safe! And...secret! And grassy, so they can rest and refuel. But of course!
Crisis averted. But MT was--is still clearly agitated by the whole experience. And not having the fun.
Then there was the Mayor. Fun repudiated after there was a run on the donut holes before he could get any. The humanity! (Though, when pressed, he *might* have had a little fun despite being donutless).
And as my kids were finding anything they could criticize about our attempted funning, I'm looking around at other kids being kids and other parents being... unworried about their engagement in shenanigans in complete darkness, not to mention in public!
And I thought: this. This right here is my problem. Maybe if we just did more of these things, it wouldn't be so foreign to any of us. And we could actually enjoy doing them. Instead of dreading all of the potential hardships (tantrums, bedtime, lawsuits) that come with the trying to do fun things. Maybe if I just put a little more faith in my kids, maybe they would surprise me a little more and we might actually have the fun?
For Christmas this year, I would like for you to show the door to my inner Nervous Nellie, Debbie Downer, and Negative Nancy. I need some time off from them.