I decided to do some fun stuff with my kids yesterday. Mostly because we just don't get out much. I tend to let other things take priority over them and oddly enough they don't mind because they think I rule the planet. That will change eventually.
We played the game 'pick a restaurant' and after much debate over McDonald's or Burger King, I managed to sufficiently manipulate them into going to Chili's. My son has grown empathetic for my desire to avoid fast food restaraunts and has once commented, "Mommy I don't want you to get fat, so we should try somewhere else." Coming from anyone else, this would be an outrage, but my six year old is the most honest person I know and there isn't any hidden message or insulting thought behind anything he says.
We arrive at Chili's, take our seats, and immediately dive into drawing pictures on the kids' menus. My little offspring are smart, and it's depsite their genes, trust me. They have a love for life and the simple things that I think I've lost sight of.
As an adult, there's so much pressure to pay bills, get good jobs, excel in something, succeed at this or that, raise our children properly (or at least hope to get lucky enough to produce a good outcome), and deal with realtionships, that we tend to lose sight of our happiness and what it truly is.
Slowing down to take a deep breath and inhale a pleasant moment, or watch a beautiful sunset isn't always top on our list of things to accomplish in the day. But for the kids, there is no pressure. They see the world a little brighter and love the people that they're given to share it with. So simple. No judgements, just unconditional love. They learn the fast pace, cynical, pessimistic, stressed-out behaviour from their ever so loving parents.
It's time to order our drinks and I have to read the list to my kids, most of which are filled with little hyper bombs of sugar, but it's a special occassion so they can choose. Sprite, Dr. Pepper, milk, lemonade, Rootbeer...."ROOTBEER!!!" yells my son. The guy at the next table made a face to let me know my child was a little too loud for him. The loving parent that I am, smiled at the guy and yelled out "ROOTBEER!!" with my son again. *giggle*
The waitress brings our drinks and my sons' eyes got huge when he saw that his root beer was in a bottle, but not just any bottle, a brown glass one. I asked the waitress to bring a cup with a lid, just in case. He took a big gulp, sighed with pleasure, looked at me with a big grin and said so thoughtfully, "Mom, root beer in a bottle is the sweet life." I was concerned with a spill, and he just wanted to breath in the moment.
They teach me more than I think I'll ever be able to teach them.