I won’t lie to you, today has not been my favorite day of this pandemic. I’m not sure I could even pinpoint why, I just know I woke up grumpy and I stayed grumpy. I even tried to re-start the day a couple of times. I tried doing one of my coloring sheets to reset, and then one of my kids accidentally colored on my sheet. Then I tried to go for a run (an indication that things are really dire) but I got a block into it and the hurricane force winds had me turning around as fast as I started. Then I tried to take a nap, but I’m not actually capable of naps.
Honestly the day has reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books that, to my delight, has morphed into a fabulous pandemic meme:
Memes, I tell you. They are keeping me going through all this.
The other thing keeping me going (and simultaneously causing me to lose my mind) are my small children. Emily is 3 and Sam is 5 and they have all the needs. Part of my issue with today was that it started with Sam bursting into my room full of volume and enthusiasm at 5:30am, Lord help me. And when that child is awake there’s no turning back. THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE AND I SHALL DEMAND 3-5 BREAKFASTS.
I’m tired, for sure. But if I’m being honest the kids have also been a burst of positivity on the days that feel overwhelming. Just as their energy never subsides, neither does their enthusiasm. They are excited to see me every single day, even on my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ones.
Yesterday, in one of two good parenting moments I’ve had since this thing started, Sam and I decided to start a project together. He had made some puppets out of paper bags, and wanted to have them star in a short film. I’m always up for movie-making, so agreed to be the director of his film. Though I learned quite quickly that I was only permitted to be the technical support, because somebody had big plans of his own and wanted no part of my creative input, thank you very much.
I asked if he had a screenplay and he told me he’d be making it up as he went along. We set up the blue blanket that we have discovered doubles as a green screen and he got to it, demanding re-takes when necessary.
Now some of you have been part of my creative projects before, and you know that Sam doesn’t get his bossy pants from nowhere. When it comes to creative ventures I have a clear vision and no issue shutting down well-meaning ideas that don’t align with the vision. Sam has fully inherited this trait from me, and as soon as the filming wrapped he came with me upstairs to dictate what scenes would play behind the puppets.
“Mommy, I want a door closing and locking and it has to be raining outside.”
We had to compromise.
“Mommy, I want it to say ‘and it’s called Super Helper Team.'”
I insisted that didn’t make much sense, and he did not care.
“Mommy, I want it to be like I’m in the theater in the movie talking to everyone. Like there’s people in the theater.”
Insert eye roll here, but he got lucky with that one.
When it was over, we had a blissfully short feature film that Sam was terribly proud of. He immediately demanded that I send it to all his friends. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to me that when I asked him if I could share it with “a bunch of people” he eagerly agreed.
So here’s the debut of “Super Helper Team”, written, directed by, and starring Sam Brower. In case you get confused, “hop-hops” are what Emily called bunnies when she was little.
I hope if your day has been anything like mine this will bring a smile to your face. And if the movie doesn’t make you smile, I hope the image of Sam putting me to work with his endless list of demands does…