Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 15 (Sharing Childhood Favorites)

During dinner tonight, I had to remind my kids that an adverb describes a verb (or action word) and often ends in -ly. We weren't reviewing homework. We were doing Mad Libs. I was told that cacophony was not what was meant by "funny sounding word," so changed it to boo boo. I was reminded that acid and toxic sludge are "liquids," begged to differ that an electric chair was a "type of furniture," yet conceded that a bullet-proof vest was an "article of clothing."

Mad Libs

All three of us had a great time. They thought the resulting stories were hilarity of the highest order. I secretly enjoyed both their creativity and sneakily teaching them the difference between an adjective and an adverb. What I most enjoyed, however, was sharing with my kids something I enjoyed as a child. Yes, kids, believe it or not, like you, Mommy once thought using toilet as a Mad Lib noun was the height of cleverness.

While I enjoy joining my kids in doing things they have discovered, there is something special about simultaneously resurrecting a childhood memory and creating new ones with my kids around a book, game, or pastime. By far my favorite is sharing with them the same summer vacation I took as a child (more on that here). Next on the list is rereading favorite childhood books, especially if we have my childhood copy. After that is a large bucket of kid stuff, even the kind that I don't remember until I see it.

Take, for example, Wooly Willy, which my son was playing with during the Mad Libs. Who's Wooly Willy, you say? That's ok, the name would have meant nothing to me either, but you know this guy, right?
Wooly Willy

I found him for fifty cents at Michaels. Fifty cents to relive a childhood memory with your kid? Not a bad deal.

We love to play Uno, and the kids spent the better part of a week playing Uno with my parents during one vacation. Guess what I remember? That's right. Playing Uno with my grandparents.

Uno cards

While playing it more than twice in a year is mind-numbing, I was thrilled when we received Candy Land as a gift several years ago. See that board? It's the real Candy Land board--not that garish, cartoonish, overcrowded, headache-inducing monstrosity that most kids have today. Just looking at it makes me happy. I can even get over the fact that it is a retro release.

Candy Land board (retro release)

How best to express my gratitude for all this? Well, I'm thankful to my parents for keeping so much of my childhood stuff for so very long. I'm thankful for the continued existence or retro release of so many of the silly things I enjoyed. But mostly, I'm thankful for the time spent laughing with my children.

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