Tonight Chad had the great idea to set up Sawyer’s Winnie the Pooh tent in the backyard for a family movie night outside. We got a pizza, rented a movie, and all five of us piled into a child-sized tent in the backyard to eat, watch a Christmas movie, and have a drawing contest. We had to cram ourselves in there like puzzle pieces: Whose legs are going here? Wait, where are you going to put your legs? Who has the baby’s bottle? Can you see? Move your head, Sawyer! Okay, is everybody comfortable? Wait, I need to use the bathroom! It was hilarious and so fun!
By the end of the movie, when we all busted out of the tiny tent, if anyone was watching I’m sure it was comical. We were something like clowns popping out of a mini car–the little ones came first, then bigger and bigger people stumbled out. We were pretty hot and somewhat claustrophobic by that time, and coming back into our house we felt like we were entering the Taj Mahal.
There was something so special, though, about an evening spent physically touching every single person in our family AT THE SAME TIME. I found myself watching the kids as much as I watched the movie. They were having the time of their lives. Even little Emerald had fun pulling everyone’s hair, getting unprecedented access to each of us. She made the rounds over and over, moving from person to person in her almost-crawling way, touching faces and accidentally tickling the kids, much to their delight. Sawyer kept getting the giggles, so excited that his whole family was right there in his tent. Adelade paused several times in her pizza eating to describe how weird it felt to eat after losing another tooth yesterday. And while the movie played she hid her eyes when things got a little too exciting.
It was a sweet, sweaty, squirmy, squished experience. In another year I doubt the five of us will be able to get into that tent. Tonight I’m thankful for little. Little tents, little kids, and the little things that keep little families together.