One of the pleasures of parenthood (aside from napping children) is introducing your kids to the same stuff you enjoy, especially the things you were into when you were their age. In the last week, I have watched Star Wars mania erupt in full force among my friends' families. They and their kids have been dressing the part. One mom made Woookiee Cookies. And a whole lot of parents purchased theater tickets in advance of the opening weekend of Episode VII.
I've anticipated The Force Awakens, too. I figured we'd show the kids the first three Star Wars episodes (we have the DVD set) then take them to the movie in an upcoming week; Max wouldn't do well with the hordes of crowds descending on theaters now.
I can still vividly recall my dad bringing me and my sister to see Star Wars when it opened; we were all dazzled by it. Dave and his dad saw it eleven times, so he was even more psyched to introduce Max and Sabrina to it.
And so, without fanfare, this weekend we gathered in our living room to watch A New Hope. Max sat on Dave's lap, Sabrina lounged under a throw and Ben ate and didn't nap, as usual.
The kids seemed interested. Dave and I interjected occasionally, explaining to Max that the men in white armor were Bad Guys and that Princess Leia was hiding plans in R2-D2 that could help save the good people.
Right when R2-D2 sets off from Uncle Owen's compound to find Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sabrina started doing gymnastics around the living room. Not a good sign.
"Max, do you like the movie?" Dave asked.
"NO!" Max said, without hesitation.
Ben seemed rather blasé about the whole thing.
So that was that. Dave was a little disappointed, but I wasn't. Of the two of us, I was the one most likely to regret it when Max was younger that he couldn't enjoy typical childhood stuff like clambering around playgrounds or just holding his own ice-cream cone. I had to learn to accept that every childhood plays out in its own way, and you need to let go of the things you wish your children could do or enjoy but don't. It doesn't mean they have lesser childhoods.
Later that day, both kids went to a drop-off party at The Friendship Circle and me, Dave and Ben headed out for a sushi date night. When we picked up Max and Sabrina, they were giddy.
"Mommy! They had acrobats!" Sabrina said.
Not only that, but they'd spun plates on sticks and Max had volunteered to go up in front of the crowd with some other kids and try his hand. And he did it, with the help of a boy standing next to him. My friend June sent some photos.
So the kids were entertained as they wished to be, and it was all good. We're not giving up on Star Wars; maybe we'll try showing it to Max and Sabrina again in a few months. Although in the words of Yoda, "Do. Or do not. There is no try."