It’s not very often I let my children break too much from their routine. As a matter of fact, we’ve gotten into a decent groove lately. I appreciate this given the last couple weeks of upheaval, missed days at school, a funeral, emotions running high, all of that.
This comes on top of the fact that their older sister, my oldest daughter Abbi, went off to college in another state just over a month ago. This is also after two years of adjusting to life without their mother, my wife Andrea, who passed away in 2011.
So when the twin boys and their middle sister Hannah come to me on a Tuesday night and look at me asking if they can stay up, just a half hour later than normal, because they want to watch a TV show, it’s actually a good thing.
I know, I know, the boob tube, deathnell of society, purveyor of drivel and lacking in distinction.
But it’s not that at all, not really.
I work in television, so it’s on a lot in our house. I have to admit that. The thing is it’s not on for me to really watch it, I have a DVR that is 97% full with shows I can’t find the time to watch. The TV is good background noise as I don’t do well with total silence. It used to drive my wife nuts. I could have the TV on and play guitar while it was there and she’d wonder how I could do both. Reality was I could, mainly because I wasn’t fully paying attention to the television anyway.
But the kids had one show they wanted to watch. Just one. Marvel’s Agents of Shield. I know, it’s not gotten the greatest reviews and it’s not necessarily Joss Whedon’s finest hour according to some. But for three kids who want to spend just one hour, sitting, relaxing, watching a television show about normal people dealing with extraordinary problems . . . it’s really a great thing.
The show . . . I won’t recount that for you. But I will say that the three kids did not fight, did not hit each other, did not argue, talk or anything. Noah, one of the twins, gave his sister a hug. Sam, his brother, came next to me and leaned a hug into my side. They asked questions like how the main guy could die in the movie The Avengers and still be back to life here on the television. I sincerely had no answer, and they alluded to it here and there was all. It drove them nuts in the best way.
So when 9pm rolled around and they were a half hour behind on all this it became clear that they benefited more this night from watching a silly superhero-esque show than from strict routine.
And that, my friends, is life. You can’t constantly, rigorously live in the routine and the routine only. It’s important and it rules our home, but sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones you hadn’t anticipated.
And sometimes time together is better than anything else.