By: Brandy Black
When I was young and, come to think of it, still to this day, whenever we are about to leave the house, my father starts the car (my parents live out in the country) and then sits at the piano and plays a very fast tune. Oftentimes it will be the speedy rendition of “Bumble Bee Boogie” accompanied by whistling. I never really thought about why he came up with that until I found myself time and time again rushing Susan (always the last to be ready) out of the house. The more I holler the more irritating I become and the more irritated I get. My dad came up with a very gentle, happy Pavlovian way of getting our butts out of the house! When I’m visiting, it still works; I think we all may wait for it now, it can’t be time (hand cupped to ear)… I don’t hear the piano. He has a way of adding levity to life, both of my parents do.
My father used to come home and say with great excitement “[insert any movie- Superman, Spiderman, ET] is opening this Friday!” This always meant the whole family (the 3 of us) would pile in the car to race to the theatre and stand in line for sometimes over an hour. It was always joyous for me, it meant playing cards curbside, it meant long conversations, it meant random made up games. I never minded the wait. What has come of that now is a great love for movies and an appreciation for anticipation-filled lines.
Susan and I took Sophia to SeaWorld this weekend and I had just as much fun, if not more, than our 2 year-old daughter. I even went so far as to tell Susan that I believe theme parks are payback (the good kind) to parents for all of the tough days of toddlerdom. This I realize to most is CRAZY but I loved watching Sophia’s little eyes light up when Shamu flipped in the water or when she got to say good-bye to the princess, or when she said hello to Zoe (Sesame Street Character), or when she flew high up in the sky on the Elmo ride, these things gave me great pleasure. I fed Susan coffee and ice cream to keep her glycogen levels (her words, not mine) high so that she would keep up with Sophia and me. Every show, ride, line, bouncy house, game or treat, I was bounding with joy. 10 hours later, we rocked SeaWorld with no tears, no fits, no stuffed animals and overpriced t-shirts, no sunburns, just great memories of a truly wonderful day!
I must thank my parents for the gift of levity in a place in which lines are abundant and kids are everywhere!