Last week, Alan and I got to enjoy a date night with dinner and a movie while Bridgette stayed with my dad. Since Alan sweet talked me into letting him pick the last 5 movies that we watched, it was then, hands down, my turn to pick this time.
I was debating between Shark Night 3D and I Don’t Know How She Does It. I decided on the latter after watching the two trailers, since I wasn’t quite in the mood for blood splattered hot chicks in bikinis.
Despite the not-so-good reviews that this movie has received, I loved it. I think it’s because I could relate with Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on so many levels. Even Alan found the movie entertaining, particularly the anecdotes on what children can do to a marriage. We both left the theater in good spirits, discussing the obvious and the not-so-obvious topics brought up in the movie–sustaining a healthy marriage after having children, juggling our careers with our personal lives, and the importance of keeping promises.
I remember growing up with parents who worked 12+ hour days, 6-7 days a week. When you’re juggling school, jobs, and raising two children, naturally you’re going to forget a promise or two, especially when it’s something as trivial as taking your children to buy Icees. When you are a child though, your whole world probably revolves around trivial matters, of which you’re likely to blow up in proportion, and the disappointment from promises unmet often remain as negative emotions that stay attached to you through adulthood.
Okay, you may think I am exaggerating a bit, but I do recall the times where I was deeply hurt or disappointed by a broken promise. This could be as simple as my uncle promising to catch me as I jump into the deep end of the pool, only to find him watching from the sidelines and laughing as I splattered around the water (I had a floating device on so safety was not an issue). To my uncle, it was perfectly harmless, as he had every good intention to show me that I was capable of jumping in by myself. As a child, I was angry, because the broken promise caused feelings of betrayal.
Ofcourse, as an adult and a mother now, I completely understand why it is sometimes difficult to keep every promise that we make. But, I am very conscientious about making promises to Bridgette. In fact, I don’t make promises to her often, and when I do, I make a conscious effort to keep it. There have been times where I wasn’t able to keep my word, like the day that she asked me to pick her up from school, and I truly thought I would be able to, only to get caught up with some urgent client issues that kept me longer than I anticipated. When I got home, Bridgette reminded me right away that I broke my promise, and that it made her feel sad. I apologized, and explained to her honestly that despite my good intentions to keep my word, something unexpected came up that I didn’t have control over, which prevented me from picking her up. I told her I would do my very best to pick her up the next day. We hugged, and she was happy that I acknowledged her sadness.
I remember another incident, when we went swimming at a public pool this summer, where there was a tiny little slide for toddlers. It was minuscular compared to the slides that Bridgette is accustomed to at Raging Waters, so I thought it was incredibly silly when she insisted that I stay at the bottom of the slide to “catch” her. I almost didn’t do it, but then I recalled the incident with my uncle, and I remained at the bottom of that tiny little slide the entire time, while she slid down over and over again right into my arms. It was such a senseless gesture, but by keeping my word and taking Bridgette’s word seriously, I knew I was building trust between us.
I’m not saying that parents who don’t follow through on every single promise to their children are bad parents. It’s just that I think children take promises very seriously, and when promises are broken over and over again, it not only breaks the trust in the relationship, but it also damages their self esteem to a certain extent because their needs are always perceived as insignificant.
Today is the first day of October, and the evidence of Fall being upon us is everywhere, despite the unusual heat that we experienced last week. I’ve been taking Fridays off to enjoy a series of three-day weekends with Bridgette, and we’ve been pretty spontaneous with many of our outings….
Seriously, Fraiche is my new love in the city. They put Pinkberry (and all other froyo places) to shame. Their homemade, fresh frozen yogurt are made from scratch, and even their toppings are made with the finest ingredients. After you taste the fresh mochi from Fraiche, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Oh, how I jumped for joy when I realized they are also in Palo Alto, right off of University Avenue!
Besides our spontaneous adventures, we also had some fun, organized activities, beginning with a cupcake decorating session with all the goodies we brought back from London in May, along with some local treasures from friends.