Yesterday the kids really wanted to go to the amusement park, and although that meant TWO big outings in one week, I agreed. It’s Stampede Week and the amusement park is always quiet at this time of the year, we have season’s passes, and also it was a beautiful sunny day. I was preparing snacks and water bottles when I got a call from my husband: his building had a small fire and the office was closed for the day, so he was on his way back home.
As soon as he got in the door the kids immediately begged him to come with us. This NEVER happens, since we usually do our outings during the week when he’s at work. The four of us piled into the car and headed off, and we had the best time. There’s nothing like going to the amusement park with both parents to showcase which one of us is the “fun one” (hint: it’s not me). I did, however, agree to go on the bumper cars with the kids and although at times I felt like Marge Simpson, driving neatly in a clockwise direction, it was a blast.
I maintain that there cannot feasibly be two really fun parents in a relationship, and I’m okay with not being the fun one. I don’t really want to go on the log ride, for example, and I certainly don’t want to get shot with water in the bumper boats. And yet sometimes this can be hard on my non-cool ego. A few weeks ago we were discussing over dinner which Star Wars character best represented each person in our family. The boys had agreed that their father was most like Han Solo, Jake was most like Luke, and Mark was just like Anakin prior to going over to the Dark Side. When I asked which character I was most like, they both thought for a moment, and then agreed – IN UNISON – that I was most like C-3PO.
I related this to my friend Hannah, who soothed my soul by saying I was Princess Leia in a gold bikini, and I shouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise. I would like to think that I could choke a giant slug with my neck chain, but sadly I’m now convinced that I am most like the second-lamest character in the entire Star Wars series.
Have you ever had the experience of sharing something from your childhood with your own children, and you build it up and build it up and then it’s a total letdown because they are bored or uninterested or politely concede that it’s “okay?” I’ve had that experience numerous times, but this week was different. I discovered Top Gun is now on Canadian Netflix.
I decided to watch it Wednesday evening, since my husband was going to be at a Stampede event and I wanted something fun for myself. I asked the boys if they wanted to watch it with me, and they said yes. Mark watched and enjoyed the first and last thirty minutes, wandering off mid-movie to do something else, as is his wont. But Jake. Jake LOVED it. He loved the story line. He loved the flight scenes. He loved the call signs and the lessons learned and Maverick turning into a Team Player after all. I skipped through the sex scene, but other than that he watched the whole movie and was glued to it the whole time. He analyzed it extensively, saying things like “I don’t think Maverick is really mad at Sundown. He’s just upset because Goose is gone now.”
We have now perfected the double high-five – up high, and backwards down low, and he says that he wants this to be our playground goodbye, instead of the fist-bump that we’ve been doing for years. He is now saying things to me such as “Mom, you can be my wingman anytime.” It brings tears of joy to my eyes.
This morning, when he woke up, he asked if we could watch Top Gun together again soon.