Friday, April 8, 2011

Making Memories

It’s Friday (Friday, Friday... sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Jeremy’s camping with a bunch of guy friends. It was pouring rain earlier, thunder and lightning, wind howling. I felt sure he would turn tail and come home, but he stuck it out, good man. Like a trooper.

This is what I do on weekends when Jeremy’s gone: I buy frozen pizzas, spread a thick blanket on the living room floor, and let the kids camp out, staying up late eating pizza and watching TV. Sometimes they pass out around 10... sometimes they’ve stayed up as late as 1 in the morning before finally succumbing. They’ve inherited my night owl blood. Judge me if you will (and I know some people will) about letting them stay up so late. Kids need their rest, you’ll get them off schedule, blah blah blah. Let them judge.

Some of my best memories are cloaked in a dark living room, sprawled on the floor with my brothers and sister, the flickering blue light of the TV screen shining off of our faces. I had one of those reversible blankets, tan and brown, with a picture of horses galloping through waves on a beach. Amber had a battered old quilt, and each boy had a blanket, cleverly called- wait for it- the boys’ blankets. I still remember what they looked like, and which ones belonged to which boy.
Some nights we would play video games- we had a demo disc for the Playstation, some sort of downhill skateboarding game. We would play that over and over, for hours, taking turns with the controller until our thumbs hurt. Or Uniracers! Who remembers that game?! Other nights we watched movies. I remember laying on the floor next to my dad watching The Land Before Time, tears running down my face as Littlefoot’s mother died. And I remember years later, again laying next to Dad on the floor, watching him cry as Annie and Sam finally found each other in Sleepless in Seattle. I remember staying up late with my mom while she cross-stitched, watching While You Were Sleeping, The Cutting Edge, True Lies.... all of her staple “stitching movies” as we called them. All the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby “Road” movies, Young Frankenstein, and every Christmas Eve, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

So while some people might regard my idea of a fun family night as negligent parenting, I prefer to think of it as more of passing a torch, in a way. I see them, cloaked in a dark living room. Sprawled on the floor next to each other, the blue light of the TV flickering off of their faces. I see myself and my brothers and sister in them. And I have to ask myself, as my parents might have asked themselves all those years ago: What is sleeping compared to making memories?


  1. I love it!! Who cares about sleep. Memories are way more important. I remember once when our heat was out in a snowstorm. And the phone lines were out. We all huddled in he living room by the fireplace and watched old movies. It was fabulous. <3

  2. We did that one Christmas, too! The electricity was out for some reason. We had a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey daily calendar that we gave my "adopted" brother, Aaron- we passed it around reading one page at a time with a flashlight. Isaac was only about 8. When it was his turn, he read in this really monotone voice: "I don't believe in harming any living creature, so when a mosquito lands on my arm, I just pet it- real hard and real fast." His lack of inflection was hysterical. That was the best Christmas I can remember. WHY didn't I just post all of that in the blog, instead of a comment?? >.>