Just laugh

Beans and I went to see Hop on Sunday.

He’s so busy most days with school and sports that it seems like when he’s home I’m not spending time hanging out with him so much as I am barking orders at him in an honest effort to get him to move from one thing to the next and keep him on track with his crazy busy schedule.

I have, in effect, become his drill sergeant.

I’m not sure what my role as his mom should look like, exactly, as he gets older, but I’m committed to making every effort to stay close to him along the way. I’m not content to just make sure he does what he needs to do when he needs to do it and it seems like all this rush rush hurry hurry business is more likely to bring us down than bring us together and so … the occasional movie.

I’ve promised him we’ll going to go rollerskating soon, too, because he doesn’t really know how to get around on a rink and back in my day I could really roll. I’m sure we could easily come up with other stuff we might like to do together, but it’s so rare to find an afternoon with no social commitments for him (or us) and no work commitments for me and when Matt can hang out with Tallulah and … pretty much the stars have to align before this can happen. But when it does, it does.

I worry a lot about how I’ll be able to connect with Beans as he turns into, you know, a boy creature. He’s moved past trucks and cars and trains, and while I’ve never been overly attached to things that go, I was at least able to relate to him as we pushed toy vehicles across the floor and made motor sounds with our mouths.

Then he hit the video game stage and I mastered Mario Kart, and cheered him on (or at least gave him freedom) as he became one with the Super Mario Bros.

He went through a superheroes phase, too, and I could get in on that kind of play even when I refused to fight.

Now, when he’s home and has down time, he likes to play with the Wii and his Legos. I’m OK with both of those. In fact, I kind of rule at Wii bowling.

But what happens when he outgrows all the toys and becomes a sullen tween or teen and all he wants to do is hang with his buddies (and the scary teenage girls with their skimpy clothes and shiny lip glosses …)? What kind of activity will help us bond then? Huh? Tell me, please!

Yeah, so I don’t know what kind of tween or teen he’ll be and maybe that’s almost a worse-case scenario. I don’t know if we’ll still be able to have meaningful conversations or if he’ll even want to be seen at a movie theater with his mom. But I hold out hope that through every stage of his life, there will be something that holds us together. All I can do, I think, is to pay attention to who he’s becoming and try to keep up. And maybe to try not to embarrass him while we’re hanging out.

There’s a scene in Hop where the Easter Bunny-to-be plays the drums for the Hoff (David Hasselhoff) and then appealing to the Hoff for affirmation of his unique talents. He stops abruptly, having been warned not to let any other humans hear him speak lest he end up in some brain dissection lab, but then he realizes the Hoff doesn’t even look surprised that he can talk.

The Hoff makes some off the cuff remark about how his best friend was a talking car. Beans has never even heard of Knight Rider. As I laughed out loud at that comment, he turned his head to look at me in surprise.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the scant audience who laughed, but in that instant, I got a glimpse of my future. And his.

Luckily, this time, he laughed with me, even though he wasn’t entirely sure why it was funny.

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