So for this month’s post, we want to know what a “night in” looks like in your household. What you’re eating, how you’re sitting, where, when and what you’re watching, and ultimately how you keep the peace when it’s time to choose a show or movie.
–Netflix Stream Team February Prompt
With two kids under 3, every night is a night in for the Palmers, but more so for two worn-out parents than the four of us together, since one has a 7:30 bedtime and the other can’t see much yet with but a month of life under his belt. And with the 2016 Oscars now behind us, it was an excellent opportunity for Sarah and I to see all the movies we had absolutely no time to see this past year (though we are looking to correct that with the weekly date nights we’ve now scheduled in.)
That said, entertainment hasn’t vanished from our lives—sometimes, the stars align and we manage to take something in as a couple. Sometimes it’s fluff. Sometimes it’s serious. And sometimes—every now and then—it’s something resonating somewhere inside, reminding you that the person you’ve become might not be the one you always thought you were.
So for your consideration, here’s a story I’ve never told anyone before—one about love.
Longtime readers and I have already established I was a completely different Casey Palmer before kids. My life was fun, sure, but I lacked a real sense of purpose.
I thought I’d found everything I needed in my life — I’d married a beautiful woman; had amazing friends and family; and was managing pretty well at standing on my own feet in this big, bad world. On paper I had a solid job, I was saving money, and we constantly painted the town in varying hues of red, figuring we’d make the most of what God gave us.
But I didn’t know then how much all that doesn’t even matter when you’ve got unconditional love in your life. We’re born into our families, and we decide whether we marry our significant others after courtship, but children are the ultimate test—especially when we choose to have them, and we find ourselves dealing with every random thing our genetic mélange has to offer up, but through the tantrums, the tears and everything else that comes with parenthood, it often takes little but a simple cute display to remind you why you love them. And while reminders come often—when they hug you when you get home from work or cry for you in the middle of the night—it’s really when you’re hit by those curve balls that you remember the feeling most.
And About Time was the latest one to smack me upside the head.
Starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams, About Time isn’t your typical romantic comedy…
At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
Now, with my lack of love for romcoms, I went in with low expectations. But About Time delivered with laughs, gaffes, and a storyline that had me giving a crap about the characters! Not only did I not hate the movie, it was actually starting to grow on me in a cutesy, charming kind of way!
But what ultimately hit me was the storyline between Tim and his Dad, ending in a way that really shows the strength of their bond—it got me right in the feels. It was a solid allegory for the love I want to show my boys, and who knows—maybe we’ll film our own story someday!
So while it wasn’t a movie choice typical of what you’d see for a “family night in”, its amusing depictions of love and parenthood—with the children becoming parents themselves—may have been exactly what we needed to remind us that we’re not alone! Give it a watch if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare ????
What do you call a family movie night with overtired parents after their two kids under three have gone to bed? SYNCHRONIZED COUCH WARMING!
So in the end, what did I learn? That though our male archetypes might decree otherwise, my emotions are very much real and will spring up on me at the most unexpected times? That I had an atypical childhood watching more Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air than Full House? Or perhaps that I’ll resign myself to the fact that my kids will be more interested in Peppa Pig* than something cool like Inside Out, at least for the foreseeable future?
If I take anything from the past month and the copious amount of TV I consumed (because huge series like Tales from the 2.9 really won’t write themselves…), it’s this—just because you have little guys shadowing your every move because you’re pretty much the centre of their universe, it doesn’t mean life has to stop being fun. It doesn’t mean you’ll never spend quality time with your significant other again—you just might need to be more intentional about it. You’re both responsible for your happiness—get to it!
With March upon us, you may want to check out some of the awesome that Netflix has to offer with titles like House of Cards season 4 (the 4th), the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil (the 19th), or Marvel’s Ant-Man the surprising audience pleaser that’s out now!
As for me, the hustle’s all still very real, and I’m still getting my Netflixin’ in with the first season of Better Call Saul, because what’s better than the origin story of everyone’s favourite crooked lawyer from Breaking Bad?
I hope you all enjoy everything the month ahead has to offer, and may your life be filled with belly laughs, heartfelt tears, and quality moments you can share with friends, family and anyone else looking for a little change of pace in their lives!
Until the next episode, I remain,
*Let’s talk Peppa Pig.
Who greenlit this show?! All it teaches is having a bad attitude, never worrying about consequences, and playing in the mud as often as possible without any scolding for getting completely filthy, because duh, they’re pigs. I need to talk to my daycare operator about why she ever introduced Little Man to this travesty ????
Disclaimer: I wrote this post as part of the Netflix Stream Team where they hook a blogger up with goodies in the mail each month in exchange for words. And images. And maybe a joke or two.
I’d like to think I succeeded in this department with this post ????