By: Tanya Ward Goodman
I haven’t had an “A-ha! Moment” all weekend.
My husband was out of town for three days. The kids fought a lot. There was a soccer game and a riding lesson. I let them watch a lot (I mean a lot) of television. We ate take-out. I sometimes shouted. I said, “Because I said so.” I felt bored and tired and irritable.
I think that often, when I am writing these little pieces, I try to put a spin on things – try to find the humor or the pathos or the uplifting ending. I like very much to end on a positive note.
But sometimes, there isn’t one.
My kids fight, my dog spends way too much time trying to lick me, there is a funky smell in the sink drain, I eat too much sugar and bread, homework sometimes goes undone and pasta with butter is sometimes the most creative thing to come out of my kitchen.
I don’t like playing games where I have to voice a small plastic animal.
“Hi,” my pony might say.
“Hi,” says my daughter’s pony. “Is there a party?”
“There’s a party.”
“Are we going?”
“Is there cake?”
This conversation can go on forever and makes my brain feel like it is grinding to a halt.
I want to play a game-game. I want to play Yahtzee or Scrabble or even Uno with its never-ending rounds of primary colored numbers. I want a game with clear boundaries and rules. It’s not that I don’t like to make up dialog, I do. I just don’t want to make it up for a pony.
Parenting does not always have to come with a built-in lesson. I don’t have to grow emotionally every darned day. It doesn’t always have to be bright. Sometimes it just has to be.