Sorry for so much blah blah blah the last few days. Time for some silent photos soon.
So....my kids are keeping me honest now that they have discovered I scheduled dates with them on my calendar (back when I worked on organization...I have one child scheduled for a date each month, so they'll get one every 4 months-ish). Friday I was able to go out with my oldest son to a local boy heaven-- it had laser tag, arcades, go karts, and bowling under one roof (I happened to have some credits there from a couple of years ago, oops). We did a couple of arcade games first; he had a good laugh at my terrible target shooting and I was duly impressed by his. We also sat in some kind of motion simulator (only for him, let me tell you, I usually hate those things) and got our brains jiggled out against the jittery yellow vinyl backed seats, as we catapulted through a "haunted" mine.
Then he decided we should earn some tickets. So we tried shooting some hoops, whereupon I introduced him to some good old fashioned "Skee-ball." (best way to earn tickets, in my mind) He liked it so much we used up the rest of the allowance on our cards and disappointedly tried to push the yellow button even though we knew we had no money left (just in case?). He did eventually redeem our tickets for a couple super cheap plastic spiders to give his sisters when we got home.
Next up, laser tag. Who knew how fun laser tag could be? It was the two of us, a middle aged couple and their princess daughters (probably 5 and 7?), their son, and the acne-ridden guy who worked there (without him, lets just say....we'd have been annihilated against a whole big group of twelve year-old boys. It was so fun sneaking through the neon black darkness, hiding behind pillars, running, dodging, and trying to shoot the glowing vests of the deviously evil boys on the other team. :)
Then we visited the bowling alley. On the way there, we laughed about my adventures in bowling as a twenty something, when I got three strikes in a row, impressing all the boys in the process (no one more surprised than myself), and then proceeded to bowl nearly straight gutter balls the rest of the game. Lol. I had a near repeat of this experience, in different sequence, as I'd bowl a strike and then a couple of gutter balls, etc. He had a good laugh about that, though he often remained good naturedly concerned as he watched some of my shots veer toward the gutter, right until my ball was sucked silently into the bowling abyss. He did pretty well himself, and we had a good laugh in a virtually empty bowling alley filled with eighties music.
Last of all, we went outside in stinging winter air to try out the go-karts, my son's favorite. He offered to drive, and I got to be the giddy passenger. He had been sharing his go kart driving exploits from a friends birthday party all weekend, so I was all prepared for some crazy driving. And boy was it crazy! He is normally pretty mild mannered, but he was aggressive in that machine, keeping the pedal to the metal all the way around the tight corners (I noticed his neck had some purplish marks from the seat belt for a couple of days afterward), and as I white knuckled a bit when he tried to pass some other swerving cars driven by boys of similar age. I think I laughed most the way. It was pretty fun, minus breathing in some heavy fumes between breath holding.
I love letting the outer adult go in times like these and remembering how it felt to be a kid. Especially since my kids just seem to eat it up when I act like a kid with them for a bit. And also letting the child I'm with lead the play. Fun for both of us.
He thanked me a lot of times for our little "date." That night, he curled up on my bed and said "Mom, I want to ask you something." We ended up having a heart to heart conversation about something that had been bothering him. And I realized that he had been afraid to ask for quite a while, but our little date had helped him to open up. Even though I love and crave one-on-one with my kids, it seems to take a back seat sometimes to what feels more essential. But after days like these, I see why I am trying to make it a higher priority, because it is just as essential as other essentials. :)
Have a wonderful weekend! I will miss you, friends! Goals next week, because I'm feeling lazy right now. :) Love to all.