As one’s adorably rambunctious sons turn into charmingly grumpy teens, it can be difficult to find fun things to do with them that they still love. I used to take them out to jump in puddles, literally roll in the mud, dig in the gravel pile with their trucks, or attempt the five mile trek around the meadow on their tricycles. Yes, they actually wanted to do this and we tried, we really did, ha!
But when the love of catching snakes fades (which is so sad as I am really awesome at catching snakes … just ask Becca Whitham!) and the joys of battling aliens on screen seems to overshadow all, moms have to scramble for something awesome to do with their sons. Thus, the Mom Movie Night was born.
I heard about movie nights in a conversation with a friend and immediately knew this was an activity my sons would love for as many years as I was willing to do it. Nothing thrills a teen like tossing good sense and normal motherly behavior out the window. Moms say not to stay up late, watch too much TV, or to eat sugary snacks at 3:00AM. Therefore, doing all of the above with your Mom = pure delight!
And so, once a year, in the summer when Scruffy is usually working seven days a week and is not available … I get to be the fun parent! You know those recipes that your kids always want you to try? The wildly time-consuming ones that use weird ingredients that you never have on hand and take three hours to prepare. You always intend to find a time to make them, as a treat, on a day that you have hours and hours to spare in order to sculpt tiny Han Solos out of tootsie rolls, press them into ice cream bars, and cover them in chocolate so that you can eat a confection that looks very much like good old Han frozen in carbonite … but the day never comes.
Well, that is the first step to planning a Mom Movie Night of your own. Allow your very own grumpy teen to choose any recipe that their adorably sarcastic little heart desires. Warning: they might choose something really weird. Like a watermelon frosted like a cake. We usually go to our handy dandy Star Wars cookbook as it contains many recipes that I don’t usually have time for, including the Han Solo ice cream bars mentioned above. So, the boys choose one treat and one drink and I shop for the ingredients and make the treats in secret. I also purchase a movie for each boy and keep it ready for our movie night.
Then I make sure that everyone goes to bed at a reasonable time and I go to bed early, setting my alarm for 3:00AM. I awaken, stumble to the kitchen, and get out our snack and drink. I pop the movie into the player, and then awaken the son that matches this particular show and snack. Teens are very difficult to get up on school mornings. They are amazingly easy to wake up when you mention that you have made chocolate cheesecake balls and ice cream sodas.
Then in the dark quiet of the early morning, you and your teen get to throw reason out the window for one special day. We grab blankets and curl up on the couch, watch a movie at an insane time of day that no reasonable adult would sanction, and eat an incredibly sugary snack on an empty stomach. You can see why I only do this once a year … but it is worth having my “fun parent” tradition that every single one of my charmingly grumpy teenage sons adores! It is worth it my friend. For the small small price of a little sleep deprivation, a nerve-twitching sugar overload, and hours of prep in the kitchen, I have found something my sons have no intention of outgrowing. When you really think about it, that is utterly priceless!
This year’s treats are as follows:
Judah–Mos Icely (a fruit granita made with six large oranges) and Echo Base Frozen Lemonade (the best lemonade ever, made with 5 lemons a ton of sugar and frozen to perfection).
Theo–After the excitement of Asteroid Attack (yes, I caught the pan on fire trying to fry ice cream) he ends up choosing the same treats as his brother. Mos Icely and Echo Base Frozen Lemonade. Yum!
Brennan– Chewie Chocolate Cheesecake Pops were a new one for me and delightfully decadent. Then Brennan chose an old favorite, Cloud City Ice Cream Floats. With a homemade blueberry sauce and vanilla ice cream, you can’t go wrong!