Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy NOT Back to School Day

Years ago now, I had a sweet 1st grader that was so sad that she wouldn't be taking part in the Back to School traditions.  She wanted something else. And thus, HappyNOT Back to School Day was born.  We try to do something that is harder to do in the summer or weekends because it is overrun by children.  One year we went to the Science Museum.

This year was a little harder, because Isaiah had an afternoon appointment.  I had some free movie tickets good for Disney or Pixar movies burning a hole in my pocket.  And so we decided to go see Planes.

We planned to buy the remaining tickets we needed at the child's price and use the free vouchers for ourselves and a couple children.  Turns out we had an even greater blessing in store.

The cashier at the ticketbooth gave us full credit for each ticket voucher we had.  So she took $12 off for each voucher instead of the actual cost of the tickets.  We tried to point out the difference but she insisted.  We paid $2 for the remaining tickets we needed. 

Then since it was Tuesday, they had a special on popcorn.  Instead of taking the discount on the smallest bag of popcorn, the concession worker took it off the largest one that qualified for free refills.

And thus "Happy NOT Back to School Day" was much nicer on our budget.

Funny story:  So many people assume that our family spends the majority of our time together because Brandon and I force the children to do so.  Actually, it is quite opposite.  YES, we strive to spend time together.  Brandon and I strive to be the main "input" for our children.  But they all have opportunities to fly a bit further than the nest.

And yet, often times they choose not to.  Because we do spend so much time together, my children are each other's best friends.  They make friends easily, but really prefer to play with each other.

So here is an example:  We gave the girls free run of the theater, afterall we had a private showing.  "You can sit anywhere you'd like.  "Here is your tray of popcorn, go choose a seat," I said.

And yet.. this is where they chose to sit:

The empty seat on the left side of the picture is mine.  Followed by Xander, Brandon and Isaiah and then Solomon.

If you are a parent reading, I encourage you to allow your children to be friends and not just siblings.  We have our share of fights and disagreements among the children, but don't believe the lie that siblings have to hate each other.  The other lie I encourage you not to believe is that no matter what your children will always want to be far, far away from you unless you are a pushover parent or overly controlling.  Brandon and I are by no means "pushover parents." In fact, some consider us to be very "strict" parents and yet we are not overly controlling either.  And yet.. my birdies still love their nest.


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