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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Night at the movies


Last night I took Annie and four of her friends out for pizza and to see Confessions of a Shopaholic as a celebration of Annie's birthday.

Before we left for the restaurant, I hit Walgreens and stocked up on M&Ms and Twizzlers for the movie. Then it was off to meet Annie's friends.

Now, I am a grown woman. I am a wife and mother and professional communicator. So why is it that a group of 6th grade girls can make me feel insecure and thinking "I hope they like me?" Probably because I know that they do like Mike with his fashion sense and never-ending knowledge of popular music.

"Annie, your Dad is so cool!" I've heard on more than one occasion.

But no matter, because last night they got me, not him. So I decided my strategy would be to observe. Give the girls room to be silly (as most 'tween girls in a group setting are) and offer slight direction when needed. Turned out to be a good plan.

I listened as they talked about school, volleyball and Robert Pattison (of the Twilight movie fame). I bit my tongue when they referred to certain pop stars as "hot" -- why does the word "cute" seem so much more innocent? I wondered if they even heard each other as they all tried to tell stories on top of one another. And I was amazed that one pizza and one family order of breadsticks was enough to feed them all!

I guess they were saving room for snacks at the movie, because when we got there, no one took me up on my offer of the sneaked-in candy. Instead, they all spent their own money on popcorn and slushies -- and then ate my candy half-way through the movie when they'd had their fill of the treats they'd bought.

Though we'd chosen the movie purely for fun -- and for its PG rating, I found myself thinking (from my seat behind Annie and her friends) that it could provide a good lesson for my Uggs-coveting daughter and her friends that "stuff" does not lead to happiness. That spending beyond your means can lead to lies and heartache.

On the way home, I listened as one of Annie's friends said, "That movie inspired me!"

"Yes! She got the message," I thought, waiting to hear how the movie inspired her to save her money.

"It inspired me to dress fabulously!"

At which point I delivered my one mini-lecture of the night about saving and avoiding reliance on credit cards. No longer worried about fitting in, I figured if "you can't join 'em, teach 'em."

Of course they paid as much attention to me as they would to a math teacher trying to fit in one more lesson at 2:00pm on the Friday before Spring Break starts. Before the breath of my last word on the subject evaporated, they were already talking about who cried when Luke and Rebecca parted ways in the movie.

All in all it was a fun night. Who knows if the girls got the moral of the movie? And probably they aren't waking up in their own homes today thinking "Annie's mom is so cool." But I consider it a victory that I don't think anyone is thinking "Poor Annie, her mom is such a dork."

At least I hope they're not.


Anonymous said...

Great story! Well even if they didn't get the moral of the story...enjoying time with their bff's is great memeories and I'm sure Annie is grateful she has a COOL mom who will let her do that!

Joanie said...

I hope those girls think you're cool!
I think I must be a cool mom. My house is the one everyone shows up at when they run away from home.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Oh yeah. You are a dorky mom. I'm sure I will be, too. Just as I already know Jeff will be the one all the teens like... but I'm ok with that!

Micah and Emily said...

Amy you're great! I feel the same way with Micah and I....the kids are going to love him....I think being the cool parent just happens to a man thing!


Anonymous said...

I used to take my nieces to the movies all the time. When they were about 6th grade they called and asked if I would take them along with their friends. I said sure! thanks for asking me, I'd love too. Then they added..well, you can't sit with us or anything. Seems I wasn't aware that I was the ride. lol
I love them anyway and I'm still the favorite aunt.