We were at dinner last night, only a few hours before we were to go pick up Daddy at the airport... and everything suddenly went south. My son, the moody one (gets that from me), decided his dinner isn't coming fast enough. He started to get mad every time some other table got food, and he didn't.
Trying to distract him, I asked, "So, what was your favorite part of this week?"
His answer: "Nothing. It was all boring."
Yes, he was just being moody and tired. Yes, I shouldn't take it to heart. But I do. I spent so much time playing around with my kids and doing goofy stuff--not writing, not sitting them in front of the television, but being a VERY active parent--and the mood thing hurt me.
Now I look at the big list, the one we've been checking off all week, even drawing smily faces where we really liked what we'd done, and I just don't feel happy about it.
It's like a book that is going well, going well, going well... and then its ending stinks. I read the last few paragraphs, my stomach sinks, and I wonder, What the hell was that? Is that the end? Really? It's not missing a chapter?
I believe Carl Jung suggested readers read to "practice," as if each fictional story is practice for their own life's ending. An ending is satisfying if it happens the way we wish our own lives would go--the hero winning, balance restored, happiness, or at least resolution. When it doesn't satisfy us, it does so because the outcome is absolutely not what we would want, or it leaves us hanging in some limbo, waiting until the next book comes out. The second one just ticks me off. The first reason, though, makes me wonder... what if my desired ending isn't someone else's?
What if my son's snide attitude was his way of not regretting the end of the fun week? What if he fears that the fun is over (now that Daddy's back), so he's negating the fun so that he doesn't miss it? And he doesn't understand the effect on his readers (i.e., me and my daughter) and doesn't realize the ending won't work for us?
We talked about the week again last night, and he made it very clear that he loved all sorts of parts... especially Uno and garage sale shopping (the second wasn't even on the list!). Perhaps a little sleep, and an assurance that the fun is not over yet, will help change the ending for us all.