Friday, January 13, 2012

REDUCE: Missing Out on Moments Like These

I am annoyed at Blogger at this particular moment, but I'll get over it.  Because you know, there's no way it could be MY fault that the post I was editing somehow got deleted, and I easily forgive technology for its shortcomings.

So, from what I can recover: 
...Missing Out on Moments Like These:
James, Christmas Morning, literally seconds before tearing into his gifts
Do you remember this feeling?  On Christmas morning, just the very idea that some stranger brought you the perfect gifts?  And everything looks different, and it's like the perfect dream come to life.  These are the days I hope to remember as he graduates high school, gets married--those days when you think back to when life was simple (even though it isn't) and it was so easy to make your child happy (even though it isn't.)  I'm so very, very happy with my memories of the holidays this year.  We were "unplugged," no laptops, no phones full of texts or drama.

Since my "One Word, One Goal, One Year" is REDUCE, I can see how I'm missing out on my son's life.  I take pictures--but then they have to be uploaded, edited, emailed around.  I talk to my husband and son every evening, except that at least 50% of my attention is focused on my computer, simply strolling Pinterest for Eye Candy.  My husband is usually doing Facebook games or playing World of Warcraft with his Dad online--but he's better at the whole "divided attention" thing.  I have 600+ pictures of projects I will never get around to doing or furniture I'll never be able to afford, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the day will NEVER come when I refinish and paint my own "accent pieces."

So I sit, and I stare, and I'm not actually happy being so lazy and disconnected.

But.... I have no clue at all what ADVENTURES my son is conquering with his toys just 5 feet away from me.  If the choice is between getting more and more depressed as I see more and more of what I cannot do, obviously playing with James is much more fun and satisfying.

Quick back story: My brothers are 10 and 7 years older than me.  They have joined forces to make every Christmas and birthday "miserable" for me by buying the loudest, most annoying and, to be honest, usually the most fun toys possible for my child.  (Was I really that bratty as a kid?)  James was 2 when he got a toy drum set and a RC car that made the most horrible noises ever (I will admit here that the car "stopped working" due to having the batteries removed ;P)  Similar toys followed, and it's been fun to see them top the obnoxiousness of last year's gifts.  We got a very cool 2 loop inversion-type car track last year--but 2011 brought this awesome toy into our lives:
I wonder if the creator of this set grew up in Atlanta?  Or does every major city have a point where at least 2 major interstate highways intersect?  Anyway, it's fun, but loud, which doesn't matter because it makes James laugh so much.  He LOVES this thing.  It's supposed to have several cars going at once, which takes more dexterity than we have at this moment--but just one car is still fun.  Oh, a fair warning though: the cars also tend to go flying off the track and into your walls, so that's why it's on our large coffee table in the middle of the room.
Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Track Set
Last night though, I knew the track was on and cars were flying, but I didn't really pay attention until I heard the roar of a dragon.

Yes, that is a dragon (Christmas 2009) eating a "whale" (a plush dolphin purchased for $1 at a school fundraiser.)  (I especially love this dragon because I think he sounds just like my husband waking up in the morning....)

So where does the race track join the show?  Apparently the dragon had been at sea to catch a whale, and was bringing his "take-out" home to eat. Along the way he found traffic was especially bad, so of course it was a good time for a good game of Dragon Stomp:
Total annihilation is awesome stress-relief ;p
All this destruction was accompanied by my son's maniacal "evil laugh," which is most likely the source of my amusement.  I didn’t play with him, but it was enough for him to have an adoring crowd.

What I've learned so far : 
As adults, we think about "what goes together."  We think and focus on the full scene that's in front of us: these dishes go with those glasses but a different tablecloth; this old side table is too small to use as a nightstand but looks terrible in the living room; the comforter in the guest room looks terrible with this paint. 

Kids see everything as equal and useful--it does not matter that Superman and Thomas the Tank Engine could never join forces to destroy The Joker's evil lair which is comprised of wooden building blocks, Lego's and the pizza box from last night's dinner.

**I wonder how much more we could accomplish if we tried these ideas ourselves: what’s fun about this table setting for Valentine’s—oh, those cute scrapbook stickers can dress up the plain napkin holders and I can use the red Mardi-Gras beads around the chandelier to make the dining room look special.**
**This small table can go in the library so we have a place for a lamp in there.  We can move that extra rocking chair in there too and make it a fun place to read as well as store books.**  
**Since we never have company and have yet to have an actual “guest” use the “guest room,” let’s move that old sofa and the “pre-flatscreen”TV in there and have a mini Family Theater room.**
**Or, I can check the thrift stores for a comforter cover that matches the room.**

Kids play and use whatever they've got close-by to contribute to the action.  What do I have close-by to use in my art journal or to make a very cool bracelet or how can I use my craft stash to come up with something completely awesome....  Let's play!
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