Dinner at our house can be a little trying. That is, if you’d like to eat without acquiring indigestion, without running to the kitchen after two bites to refill the glasses of milk the wee ones finished in 2.5 seconds, leaving no room in their tender bellies for the food they wouldn’t eat anyway because it has green stuff on it – but I digress. (See Dinner with Kids for further clarification)
In an attempt to keep them at the table for longer than the 0.5 seconds they usually last after finishing their milk, I bought packs of cocktail napkins (at the discount store) with conversation starters on them. We started with the jokes and riddles. Even funnier than the corny jokes was my middle daughter’s uncanny knack at figuring out the punch lines. Hmmm . . . perhaps that’s why she wanted to pass out the napkins. After a few nights of that, we graduated to life’s important questions. If you could invite any one – living or dead – to dinner, who would it be? Again, the middle stole the show – and my heart – when she replied, without missing a beat, Grandma Julie, my beloved grandmother and her namesake whom she never met.
Another night, we had to reveal which superpower we would want as a superhero. I piped up with my response first. “That’s easy, definitely flying.” Like with a cape? Flapping your wings like a bird? “No, just with my arms out as I floated above the trees.” My answer came easily because I automatically remembered my most favorite dreams – those where I soar above the tops of the trees and roofs of neighbor’s houses behind my childhood home. The psychological conclusions one can glean from this dream are fodder for perhaps a whole series of posts, but the upshot today is what my oldest daughter said with a look of impressed surprise on her face.
“You have a good imagination for a mother.”
I think that says perhaps more about my existence right now than my thwarted desires of dreams. All sorts of high-falutin’, politically feminist, empowering responses came to mind, but I simply said thank you and took it as the compliment I’m sure she meant it as.
What a strange psychological experiment parenting is – for all parties involved. I suppose mind-expanding conversation – even if they need be started with paper squares we smear across our faces – is one way to navigate the maze and see the different paths available. If not, there are always our dreams and unbridled imagination – even for moms.