Some of us read through the instructions and carefully prepared each piece for construction, then counted out candy so everyone had the same amount, and suggested time limits on use of the single bag of frosting.
Some of us dove right in, solving problems as they arose, making creative use of available resources.
Some of us missed the whole introduction because of Monday Night Football, and had their candy ration pillaged.
Some of us ate as we worked, taking equal inspiration from surrealism and sugar.
The bickering started out lighthearted; some people were having trouble sharing such limited resources and waiting for turns. There were accusations and name calling, reputations were called into question, voices were raised.
When we finally finished and I was scooping up sprinkles and scraping frosting from every imagineable surface, I felt grumpy about how everything ends up in a fight now, and how frustrating it is to try and plan even the briefest family activities when the inevitable mark of their ending is each of us going to our separate corners with slanderous thoughts about the others. Then one kid said to the other: “these are hilarious.” And the other said: “yeah, that was fun, thanks mom.” Then they walked off together.
No one was mad, no one was even annoyed past the point where the next sentence started. I forget sometimes about how different teenagers are from the people I used to know. I've got to remember that they are more like the people I used to BE. Yikes.It was a good reminder to re-assess and re-calibrate my definition of quality family time.
It's a dysFUNctional village, but it's our village, after all.