If there is anything I have learned as a parent, it is that the only thing you can be certain about is that your life with your kids will be filled with uncertainty. Given that fact, my husband, Mark, and I really shouldn’t have been surprised when our oldest daughter, Maddie, called us a few months ago and asked, “Can I move back home?”
Of course, we said yes, but it was a question we certainly weren’t planning to hear. In fact, at the time, we were smack-dab in the middle of reconfiguring the house to take advantage of the extra space we had gained when she moved out. And now we found ourselves reconfiguring once again. Stop and redirect—it’s a parent’s way of life.
And even though I have learned to embrace the uncertainty that comes with being a parent, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t unnerve me sometimes. I like order. I like certainty. I’m the type of person who looks up the ending of movies before I go to see them because I don’t want to be blindsided by what happens.
Escape to My Comfort Zone
That need for certainty and structure is why most nights, when I’m not running around to the kids’ activities, if you’re looking for me, chances are you will find me in my bedroom watching TV. More specifically, I will be in my bed watching a movie on one of the Hallmark channels.
And now that the holiday season is here, the chances of that scenario are even greater thanks to the channel’s nonstop “Countdown to Christmas” schedule. It is my guilty pleasure and comfort zone.
Every once in a while, you will find my youngest daughter, Kacey, by my side. You will not, however, find Mark or my other three kids in the room with me. They don’t understand—and often mock—my attraction to movies they find “so predictable.”
As I repeatedly explain to them, though, that’s what I love about the movies—they are predictable. You see, when I am immersed on a daily basis in the chaos and uncertainty of life, it’s nice to have something that I know is going to turn out OK in the end.
It’s nice to know that at the beginning of those two hours, there is going to be something that unexpectedly thrusts a person out of his or her comfort zone. He or she is then going to end up in a small town, often one that goes all out for Christmas. While there, the lead character will find a connection with someone—often an old boy/girlfriend.
At around the hour and 45-minute mark in the movie there is going to be some sort of a misunderstanding or conflict that will threaten to tear the couple apart. In the end, though, all will be well, and holiday love and happiness will be assured.
A Little Bit of Both
Would I change the uncertainty of the life with my kids? Absolutely not. But sometimes it is nice to know that everything is going to turn out exactly how it should. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing, especially when uncertainty is the world in which you live most of the time. Now, if you will excuse me, there is a new Christmas movie on Hallmark that I need to go watch.