Tuesday, October 6, 2009

That's me...sitting over there.

Today was Molly's 7th birthday party. We took 9 kids to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". Eight girls and one boy came over to our house before the movie for cake and after school snacks.

Then we all took the Canada Line to Oakridge for the movie.

You know, as an aside, I have been hearing a lot about the efforts in place to increase ridership on the Canada Line...um, guys...? Stop pushing it...I think it's caught on. The thing was packed. Like Tokyo rush hour kinda busy.

Try herding nine kids hopped up on cake icing into a space crammed with cranky commuters. It was a stark visual representation of the difference between kids and grown ups:

KIDS: Squeal with delight at the slightest nudge of the train. There was much swaying, leaning and stumbling with the movement of the train car. All accompanied by giggling. Everyone was hugging and holding on to one another with mock desperate fear...hands were held and waists encircled. Best friends were supporting best friends. At one point, I was touching EIGHT kids at the same time.

GROWN UPS: Scowling at kids (to be fair, there were also some very nice commuters, obviously amused by the dramatics of the kids...).

Given the choice, I would opt for kid-ness. Giggling beats scowling anytime.

Anyway, the kids took up almost a whole row in the movie theatre. I sat for the most of the movie in the row behind. When the lights went down, all I could hear was whispering and chomping popcorn. Then the movie started and the laughing began. It was a very funny movie, so there was lots of laughter. But that wasn't what I noticed. No, what I heard was something else. Every time I laughed out loud at something sort of quirky, there was another little laugher. It was Molly, sitting a row ahead and five or six seats over. It happened so many times and for a few of them, it was only me and her who laughed. It was this lovely, carefree sound. She has a loud laugh, clearly audible over her friends. It struck me that we were echoing each other. In the dark, her profile looked familiar...it looked a lot like mine. She was ME, but sitting some distance away.

Maybe it is that she is seven now. She is more herself as she develops, but also more recognizable to me because she is at an age now that I clearly remember myself. She is different from me in myriad ways. She's gentler, sweeter natured, dreamier, to name a few. Her heart is a swollen version of my own. I envy it sometimes, but I also fear it's vulnerability. The differences are obvious, but the similarities are clear as well. That laugh in the dark at the movies, when no one else was laughing. No one except me.


Cristina Herman said...

That was beautifully put Les. Happy Birthday Molly.

travis said...

Such a sweet post. A side of motherhood that, oddly, isn't spoken of enough.

Heather Osberg said...

Great post Les... and I agree, giggling is WAY better than scowling. I love your blog too - such great pics and reflections... we must must must get together in the spring when we're in the city! Hi to Eric, Lukey and the girls ") oxo