bang a drum

My kids like for me to play video games with them, not because I even come close to giving them a run for their money, but because I am like the second, less entertaining storyline, in your typical TV show. I am filler, and I give just enough of a diversion from the main act to allow them some comic relief. I can live with that. I have a purpose beyond doing laundry and making meals, and I am good with that. Actually, I am glad for it.

My friend has raised 8 children, and has kept admirable relationships with all of them. She is not only insightful and funny, but she is present. She told me today that recently her almost-eighteen year-old (last one at home) asked her to have band practice with him. "Sure." she said. "What instrument do you want to play?" asked her son. "How about drums?" was her answer. So there she sat, straddling the bass drum, in a dress no less, while her son played electric guitar. Present. In it for good.

I like when my kids laugh at me. I like to show them I am game. I like to think that every time I jump in and do something with them that they are better at (which is just about everything), that I am telling them, "I like you." And I most certainly do.


Brooke Chapman | February 18, 2009 at 5:27 PM

it's so exciting and quite comforting to hear about parent's who truly like their kids and like spending time with them. I always appreciated my mom and dad for that.

That Girl | February 18, 2009 at 6:34 PM

What a fabulous way of putting this - when I agree to play "Go Fish" (again), or watch my son's skills on the Cars video game (again), or build towers just so he can tear them down (again) ... I'm really just saying "I like you."

I like my kids a LOT.

Heidi | February 18, 2009 at 7:17 PM

I need to be more like you. BTW, your comment on my post today made me laugh so hard, milk came out of my nose (well, not really, I rarely drink milk)Wv: mine urge. Hmmmmm

CHERRANNE | February 18, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Come, Now Kaz....You are TOO modest.
That is so cool, though. That is such a great and validating thing that You do for them-those guys of Yours! :-)

wendy | February 18, 2009 at 7:57 PM

That is great --filler indeed---you are filling their hearts and memories. I loved (and still do love) doing things with the kids/grandkids. I used to play basketball with the boys, and TRIED to help throw a football around (at least I was a good tackling block) We have lots of memories to laugh about. And my daughter was a cheerleader and you should have seen me trying to "participate" with her and her friends practice their routines. So enjoy your role as filler.

Heather | February 18, 2009 at 8:57 PM

You are such an inspiration for me. Right now (maybe it is the age of my kids) I mostly feel ike my interactions with them are a power struggle and then when I do play with them and stuff they are surprised and think I came from a different planet. My oldest has a really hard time with the joking, like she doesn't know boundaries, so it is hard for me to even go there with her.

Lara Neves | February 18, 2009 at 9:37 PM

This is a great post and one I really need to hear.

Melanie Jacobson | February 18, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Being with your kids. I love that. I thought it would happen automatically when I got to be a stay-at-home mom, but I'm learning it's something I have to work at. And even though sometimes I don't want to drop what I'm doing at any given moment because it NEEDS to get done, or whatever, I realize I have to consider what moments I really, truly want to be in. And then I back away from my dishes and giggle with my baby.

LisAway | February 19, 2009 at 12:49 AM

I love those moments of really being there. I need more of them. And I'm afraid I need fewer blogging moments. I'm working on a solution to this problem. . .

You sound like such a fun mom.

Linde | February 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM

What a great post! I agree on doing things with them (for me, up to this point, mainly with nieces and nephews), they do love to do things with you and it is fun when they beat you at just about everything. :) It is good, once in a while, when you come back, out of the blue, and beat them. Gotta keep them humble every now and then. :)

Heather of the EO | February 20, 2009 at 4:07 PM

If there were a list of most beneficial things you could do as a mother, I think playing video games with your kids is toward the top. Really, for exactly the reasons you said here. I needed to read this, thank you. You always teach me. I mean that. You do! And I love it.

Little GrumpyAngel | February 24, 2009 at 7:40 PM

This post makes me feel better for all the times years ago when I played SuperMario with our kids and I was the comic relief, and I thought, "Nice! My kids will remember me as a fool". But then I just have to keep in mind that when my kids say "Silly Mom" or "Crazy Asian/Filipino" mother!" it's usually when we're having so much fun being together and they are saying those not so nice words while laughing with me not at me ---I think.:-)