The World Through Fresh Eyes
We hadn't planned on watching the Olympic opening ceremonies last night. I came home from work, we had some dinner together, and the agreed-upon choice for "Movie Night" turned out to be "Enchanted" in HD. At one point, during a bathroom break about halfway through a film we've seen from start-to-finish at least a dozen times, I flipped over to NBC and - apologies to Gisele and McDreamy - we never went back. The girls were blown away, and so were we. What a jaw-dropping spectacle. We literally could not take our eyes off the screen.
Ava was tired when we first turned on the TV, it was the end of her last day of camp, so by 8:30 or so she was essentially out and ready for bed. I carried her up the stairs. I can still do that, barely. "Camp is hard, Daddy," she said as I tucked her under the covers. I said I understood.
Went back downstairs and Madison's eyes were still live, staring at these amazing high-definition images. She asked about a million questions about the Olympics, about China, about the things she was seeing, the kids on the screen and how they got there. At one point, the footage captured George Bush sitting in the stands, during the parade of athletes, looking slightly hassled and checking his watch. Madison doesn't wear a watch, and even if she did it would have been the furthest thing from her mind. She did, though, want to know why the President didn't have a better seat. "Shouldn't he be in the first row, Daddy," she asked. I said I wasn't exactly sure how the ticketing process worked.
I suggested bed a few times, starting around 9:30, she was having none of it. By 10:30, I exercised parental privilege and ordered her there. Gwen had long since fallen asleep on the couch. Madison resisted, "I want to see America!" she said, but I reminded her that we were filling our DVR with this incredible show, and we could pick it right back up tomorrow. She reluctantly agreed to call it a night.
It was a really rare and unexpected treat. A moment when the "world" got in with something positive, stunning, moving and affirming. An introduction worth making, as opposed to a new problem or issue that needed to be explained, rationalized, warded off before it could take hold and do any damage. "What's that, Daddy?" directed at some jarring picture in the newspaper, or an urgent request to download a new Miley Cyrus song featuring the words "jerk" and "hate" in the lyric (no thanks, Miley), or grabbing onto the end of a thread of a conversation that probably shouldn't have been undertaken with little ears in the back seat, or the next room.
Ava climbed into bed with us at 7 this morning, just a few minutes later we were downstairs. I made coffee and gave her some warm milk in a sippy cup. Gwen followed us down and we settled into Franklin. At 8, Madison wandered in, her first words were, "When Franklin's over can we finish watching the Olympics? I want to see America come in, and then I want to watch the whole thing again, OK?"
And, for once, we had no objections.