There are tough days as a parent. You know them. Nagging the kids about homework. Dealing with heartbreak. Getting them to bed. Making them eat brussels sprouts or something with kale. (Oh, I have a list of these, oh yes I do, but check back in a few days.)
However every so often… something amazing happens.
This happened on Sunday.
Now, it’s nothing big. We didn’t go to Disneyland or find out where they buried Jimmy Hoffa or saw a UFO, we simply lived our simple lives and enjoyed it.
First off, I was able to get some decent writing done while The-Youngest did his hockey practice. If you’ve read the earlier blogs, you know that in the old days, I would have watched that practice and filmed it and blogged about it and talked about it and been about as attentive as a death row prisoner listening to his final meal choices. Now, though I’m 100% there for the games, wincing, cheering, clapping, face-palming as the situation requires, I can use that practice time effectively and get some good work done.
Afterwards, when we got home, The-Oldest was busy creating his latest masterpiece, a string quartet composition that he would enter in the Langley Community Music School‘s Young Composers Competition. We let him be so he could create something amazing, but it was fantastic to hear how his piece developed. It was funny that he talked to the piano while he composed, but I talk to the computer as I write so who am I to judge?
Then after a lunch of grilled cheese, the boyz and I played Catan. We fought with the board as it seemed to want to shoot every tile into the air but eventually got it all pressed down. I got utterly slaughtered. The-Youngest won. Usually, The-Oldest wins, despite all my clever-clever plans. But this time The-Youngest had a ‘grand strategy’ and he bargained, maneuvered and rolled the right dice-roll at the right time and cleaned up.
But more fun was to come. While The-Oldest and the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World went to see a concert at the Chan Center, including a piano concerto by Stephen Hough, The-Youngest and I went to see Churchill… and have buttery, buttery popcorn. Mmmmm.
Now, The-Youngest is 11. I didn’t think he’d like the movie despite saying he wanted to see it, but he sat through all 22 hours of it and said he LOVED it. He said he thought he was like Churchill, a guy who always sticks by his beliefs no matter what all the other kids in school thought, then, at the end, they all agree with him. Apparently, he was mostly talking about projects they do in class.
Before the movie, I got a chance to chat about history and Churchill and the Darkest Hour and the Battle of Britain and all those cool WW2 things I love to talk about, and… and… and…. This time no one left the room to do laundry or shovel snow or answer a non-ringing phone.
How cool is that?
When The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and The-Oldest came home, I got a chance to hear all about the concert, which was impressive, then hear what The-Oldest had created – a complex and remarkable string quartet composition that I’m sure will impress anyone who hears it.
I guess, what made the day so great was not the buttery, buttery popcorn, not the Catan game, not the movie or listening to The-Oldest’s composition. It was quality time with the boyz. Serious time. Fun time. Goofy time. Boy time.
It’s a magical time that will all too soon be gone.
Stephen Hough in the acoustics of the Chan: Lucky Oldest and the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World! But it sounds like a great day.
I really enjoy your blog posts – and I think this is one of your best yet, Joe!
Another great blog post Joe! I look forward to them.