When we were young, our Grandma Randall took us to the Ice Capades at the old Salt Palace each year. She purchased tickets for the best seats. I am sure it cost her a small fortune, but Grandma always seemed to know what was really important and she didn’t waste her time or her money on anything that wasn’t.
While Grandma thought good seats to the Ice Capades were a worthy purchase, she didn’t feel the same way about concessions. She never spent a dime on food or souvenirs at the event. Instead, she would fill paper grocery bags with buttery popcorn and stuff them into purses and diaper bags. She also brought licorice and treats to share. If we needed a drink, there were water fountains in the hall.
I take after my grandma in this way. I think activities like sporting events and movies are worthy of my time and money, but I refuse to pay the exorbitant prices for concessions. Usually we just wait until the event is over to eat, but once in a while I pack a few snacks in the diaper bag. And that is where this story begins …
I took my children and three of their friends to see the movie Brave. Before we left, I ran to the grocery store and purchased some little treats to make the movie fun. I bought candy necklaces, blow pops and gummy worms and put them in little baggies so each of the children could have their own. When Samuel saw what I was doing, his response was an enthusiastic, “Great idea mom!”
When we got the theater, the older kids and their friends went inside. I followed with the little kids, entering just in time to overhear the conversation my son Sam was having with the manager of the theater. Sam was explaining in a matter-of-fact tone that, while he understood that it was against the rule to bring food into the theater, he didn’t agree with the rule, and would therefore not be following it. Rather than quietly breaking the rule, my eight year old had opted to announce his civil disobedience.
The theater manager had a look of confusion mixed with amusement. But before she could respond, I walked over and with a straight arm pushed Samuel into the theater. And then, out of guilt I bought two large buckets of popcorn.
I thought about what Sam had done throughout the movie. Even though I was mad, I appreciated the lesson this guileless child had taught me. If I am doing something I feel like I have to hide, it is probably not a good choice. It is important to be transparent in the way I live my life and not pretend to be something I am not. There is absolutely no pretense with Sam. What you see is what you get … and so maybe we’ll work on developing a little more tact.