In the darkest hours, a little bit of magic appears. Maybe I sought it out. Maybe I begged for it. Maybe my last post asked for help and the universe answered.
Burned in my memory is last Saturday night. The husband and I blew up the air mattress to have some movie watching cuddle time. You know what happens when you plan to spend some “quality” time with your mate? The same thing that happens before every Prom and Homecoming dance. That party crashing monthly bitch Aunt Flo shows up. She can smell a party from a mile away. She says “EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE” and become the head spinning, split pea puking, c-word slinging little girl from “The Exorcist.” And, I always turn into this person I don’t recognize. But hey, the air mattress was up and at least we could watch a movie together.
Then the screams began. No, not the ones from a married couple trying to decide on what movie to watch. The silence cutting, attention needing cries of a little boy. I went to check on him in his crib and found him curled up, frightened. I immediately blame Batman.
We ran into Batman at the local grocery store earlier that morning. He was collecting food for a local area food bank. This wasn’t the fun loving Adam West Batman. This was the Dark Knight Christian Bale deep voiced “I’m Batman.” The Terrific Toddler loves Batman. I tried to just creep stare at Batman from a distance, but a brave little boy kept throwing out his arm as I tried to walk away. If your kid wants to meet Batman, you let him meet Batman.
You also pay the price as you cradle a scared little kid on a Saturday night.
Movie was on, and the husband was kicked off the air mattress onto the couch. What movie you ask? The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I haven’t read Tolkien, but every once in awhile I enjoy a good ol “Lord of the Rings” movie night. On this particular night, I was actually feeling in the mood to watch a hobbit, some dwarfs, and a wizard walk through the forest again.
My Terrific Toddler soon went back to sleep snuggled next to me. The husband was snoring on the couch at the end of “The Unexpected Journey,” and there I was; alone again. But, I was also left wondering “what happens next?” Now I had to watch the second Hobbit movie. Just my luck, it was coming on HBO! I slipped my arm out from the almost two year old dead weight sleeping toddler. I grabbed a drink along with a bag of Cheetos, and I was on my way into the “Desolation of Smaug.”
I rarely watch movies on my own anymore. I was enjoying the quiet dark room and my snacks. Then an hour into the movie I looked over, the toddler was wide eyed awake watching the movie with me. My first thought was “Shit, he saw the Orcs. He’s gonna have nightmares.” So, I started doing the mother thing where I put my hands over his eyes when Orcs appeared, which was A LOT.
I went into the kitchen and got him some water and gave him a few Cheetos. He may be a little human, but surely he enjoys a snack and something to drink during a good movie.
As Gandalf appears, I looked over at a little boy who has NEVER sat through any movie and there he was; content and happy. He was sitting still watching a movie.
“That’s Gandalf the Grey. He’s a wizard,” I whispered to him. This is something a little boy needs to know. I didn’t spoil it by telling him who Gandalf becomes. I’m saving that surprise for later.
And I watched his eyes widened and realized I’m not always alone. I’m growing right along with my little boy. On a Saturday night, I may not be wearing ruby red slippers out on the town. Maybe all I really need to do is click my fuzzy house slippers together and take a good look around. Little moments turn into great memories.