Monday, March 4, 2013

Special Nights

It hasn't been very long since we started this new habit of having special nights and times with certain members of the family, but I thought I'd give you an update on how it's going so far.

On Wednesday, my time with Z was mostly spent searching online for new DS games he thinks he'd like.  We didn't purchase any, but he got some ideas so he can start saving up.  It was a simple way to fulfill time together, but sometimes, that's all it takes.

On Thursday, my time with O, doubled with the time for the older boys' team practice.  So, I bought O a special soda on the way and let him bring his bike to the park in my truck and while Z practiced and H helped the team run drills (he's Assistant Coach this year, if I haven't already mentioned it), O rode around the trails in the park and checked in with me regularly.

This may not sound like special time together, but for energetic O who rarely gets to bring a bike to the park since only one really fits in my trunk (and so there'd normally be a fight with all the other kids who also want to bring bikes), this was ideal special time for him.

After a little while, he and I went over and sat in the freezing cold (once the sun sets in the desert, especially when there's some wind, it gets muy frio), huddled together, watching the boys practice.  O got too cold and ran to sit in my truck and watch from there.  Just when I started to feel bad for not being in the truck with him (and my feet were starting to go numb from the cold), he came back out to sit by me.

"Mama, I didn't want you to have to be alone on our special night," he said.

But I knew how cold he was, so I asked if he'd like me to come sit with him in the truck and he was more than happy to have me join him there, sheltered from the icy winds.  I was pretty happy to be in there, too.

Still, he got out a couple times to make another couple laps on his bike because, like I said, he knows he doesn't often get to do this.  I think he wanted to make the most of it.

Due to scheduled practice on Friday night, we weren't left with much time to do Family Night as we'd planned, so we traded nights and C and I went on our date.  Saturday was left for Family Night, even after the football game.

The kids all surprised us on Friday night when we came home from our date ... they were all snuggly in their beds!  We'd warned them that if they acted up for S while she was watching them, it might affect the plan for Family Night.  So I guess they took us seriously.  They were all in bed -- without incident -- by 9:00.  We got home at 9:30 to a quiet house.

Saturday, we tried to figure out a fun plan.  Finally, we decided on dinner at Fuddruckers and see the movie Life of Pi at the theater where it was still showing in town.  Then maybe we'd get frozen yogurt or milkshakes before going home.

Dinner went fine, but when we got to the movie theater, we realized it was only showing in 3D.

Our family doesn't do movies in 3D.  For one thing, it's very difficult for our colorblind and otherwise visually limited sons to watch things in 3D.  For another, is it really worth an extra $4 per ticket?  Times seven?  No.  It's not.

It's almost out on DVD so we'll have to wait to watch it at home.  I used my Fandango App on my phone and tried to find another movie we might go see as a family.  There's nothing.  Have you ever noticed that there are only two seasons for watching movies at the theater? 

In my experience, the summer offers great movies at the theater.  We mostly go to old movies for $1.00 ourselves, because like everyone else, we're just using the theater A/C to stay cool when it's impractical to go swimming.  But if we're going to see a theater movie, it's usually during the summertime.  The other time of year to catch really good family movie releases is near Christmas.  Sometimes on Christmas.  Movie theaters on Christmas day are pretty uncrowded -- just a tip if you're looking for something quiet to do in those slow afternoon hours after gift-unwrapping and before downing a lavish meal or more chocolate.

But spring (or nearly) and autumn?  There's nothing out there usually that's worth paying the price of tickets.  What a shame.

Anyway, so we went home and planned to watch something on Netflix.  But this is a dry season.  We waited a while while C searched for a good family movie and couldn't find anything that suited everyone's desires.  So we watched an episode of Duck Dynasty and put the kids in bed.  (I may blog about this awesome show another day, but in the meantime and if you have access to cable television, watch it.  A great family show and a great family featured there.  Every episode ends with a prayer around the dinner table and lessons learned.)

Sort of a let down of a Family Night, if you ask me, but at least we were together!

I'm headed to therapy and the gym, so I'll blog about my special night with H (tonight) after I've spent time with him.  He's coming to the gym with me!


  1. My family usually goes to see a movie on Christmas too! :) It does get harder and harder to find something everyone will like, though.

  2. Sounds like some good ideas for the kids! I laughed about O riding his bike on your night together, but yeah.. as long as he remembers that it was special for him and that you were available to him, that's the important thing.

  3. Thinking back to movies with the family: when I was a kid I remember going to the movie in SF that was like theater-in-the round. We only went to a few of these: "Around the World in 80 Days" and "Seven Wonders of the World" are a few examples.
    I also remember seeing a few movies in Salinas the summer we stayed in Castroville. Other than those, our family movies were usually spent at the drive-in. Concord Auto Movies used to charge $1.00 per car. With 7 of us it was an inexpensive evening. We would bring Kool-aid and popcorn to save on the movie treats.