Tonight I took Stinky to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It’s a little bit of a birthday tradition that started accidentally a couple years ago with Bubs. This was Stinky’s first time ever in a movie theater. He did see Curious George on a big screen at an outdoor showing two summers ago, so he thought we were going to be outside.
Which would have been fun except for the rain.
And the fifty-degree temperatures.
Anyway, it was a very fun movie and Stinky enjoyed it even though I’m pretty sure he understood absolutely none of the actual plot. There was noise, and color, and movement, and we were in the dark, and the screen was HUGE, and he was happy. I’m not sure the others in the theater were, since he apparently inherited his aunt’s tendency to narrate movies (love ya Karen!), but he was happy as a clam and thankfully it was a pretty loud movie.
Basically what Stinky brought away from this movie was this:
There was a flying car.
There was a machine that made food out of water.
And since Stinky hangs out with Bubs a lot on account of them being brothers and sharing a room and a lot of toys and also germs, we hadn’t even made it to the van before the boy had started unveiling his plans to build a food-making machine.
Out of paper.
Only his machine will not go on the fritz and start making storms of food. And when he’s done making the machine, he will make a flying car.
Out of paper.
Which brings me to the point of this long midnight-induced ramble.
My sons firmly believe that you can make pretty much anything out of paper.
Bubba has been learning about American symbols in social studies, and this week they studied the Statue of Liberty. Bubs came home from first grade full of epic plans to build a giant Statue of Liberty in the back yard, one where you could actually climb up inside all the way to the torch. And on Stinky’s birthday (which is next Thursday), he was planning to blindfold Sam and take him all the way up to the very tippy top of his statue. Which was going to be made of paper.
Earlier in the week it was rocket ships.
We can’t tell if he is just pretending– I mean surely at almost seven he understands that you can’t go into outer space in something made of paper and held together with glue stick, don’t you think? But he seems so serious and so dead sure that his plans are going to work.
And to be honest, I don’t know what to say to him.
I don’t want to crush his creative spirit. I don’t want him to think that I don’t support his dreams, or that I’m not proud of him.
On the other hand, I also don’t want him attempting to lead a blindfolded Stinky up a set of paper stairs.
Is there a way to be a voice of reason and still be supportive of imagination and of dreaming?
Bubba is almost seven years old. My days with him close to me are slipping away. I want him to remember him as the one who believed he could do great things. I don’t always want to be shooting him down.
This parenting gig, it’s a lot more complicated than I imagined it was back when I was internally criticizing every parent I saw.
And with that inspirational note, I must be heading to bed.
Tomorrow if the weather allows we will be heading to the apple orchard, so I’m sure tomorrow afternoon my sons will be planning to build an apple orchard that grows REAL APPLES. Out of paper, of course.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. 🙂