It’s funny to see the things in your kids that remind you of yourself. Sometimes they’re obvious, like Annie’s eyes, which are almost the exact same color as mine. Other times they’re less obvious. These less obvious similarities can take you by surprise and remind you of something about yourself that you forgot a long time ago.
This morning, for example, Annie and I were watching TV when she asked, “If I jump through the screen can I get into the movie?” I couldn’t help but laugh because it dawned on me that when I was around Annie’s age I used to fantasize about doing the exact same thing. In fact, I remember asking my dad the same question whenever The Muppets were on TV.
I gently told Annie that, unfortunately, it isn’t possibly to jump into the TV, but she wasn’t ready to take that for an answer:
ANNIE: “But I want too. Why can’t I?”
ME: “Because the screen is in the way. You can’t get in there.”
ANNIE: “What if I broke it with a sword?”
ME: “Where would you get a sword?”
ANNIE: “I dunno. Maybe Mommy has one?”
ME: “I don’t think she does.”
ANNIE: “Do you?”
ANNIE: “But if we get one and I break the screen can I get in there?’
ME: “No, because if you break the screen you won’t be able to see the movie anymore.”
This line of logic seemed to work on Annie for a few minutes, but then:
ANNIE: “Dad, I still want to jump into the movies.”
ME: “You do?”
ANNIE: “Yes, but NOT with a sword.”
ME: “What movie would you want to jump into the most?”
ME: “But that’s a cartoon and you’re real.”
ANNIE: “Yes, but I could wear my Rapunzel dress.”
ME: “You can live in a cartoon if you have the right dress?”
(At that point something distracted Annie, and she hasn’t brought up the subject since.)
Annie will eventually learn all the dirty secrets about the movies, like that – gasp – they’re not real, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy watching how her mind works (and remembering how mind did so long ago).