Thursday, June 17, 2010

Membership has its privileges

My daughter asked, "Mom, will you join Hogwarts Online?"  My first thoughts were, "I don't want to do that.  I've never read the Harry Potter books.  I haven't seen the movies.  I'm not interested in fantasy.  And I'm busy with a million other things."  My first answer was, "Honey, I'd love to, but I don't know anything about Harry Potter."  She asked again the next day and received about the same response.  At the same time, my son was asking me to join Club Penguin.  I have no interest in pretending to be a penguin in a fictional town playing kid games and decorating an igloo.  I told him I thought he'd have more fun with some of the other kids we know who have Club Penguin accounts.  He asked again a few days later and received a similar response.  Then, one night, as I lay in bed in the stillness and quiet calm of the house I felt like I'd been jolted with lightning.  My eyes popped open and a smile spread across my face.  It was in that moment that I realized what a privilege my children were bestowing upon me ... or *attempting* to bestow upon me.  For those who need a refresher, I've included the definition of privilege.


[priv-uh-lij, priv-lij]  Show IPA noun, verb,-leged, -leg·ing.
a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most

How does this definition apply?  My children wanted me to have the benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.  We know plenty of families whose parent/child relationships are strained at best and our children are also very particular about who they spend their time with.  Yes, inviting me to join their worlds is definitely a benefit beyond the advantages of most.

So, the next morning when the kids came in for our usual morning snuggles, I asked them if they would help me register on Hogwarts and on Club Penguin.  They graciously agreed and have been patient with me as I learn how to be a Slytherin AND a secret agent penguin.  I have to admit that I enjoy both activities and am truly honored that my children like me enough to *want* to include me in their lives.  It IS a privilege and I will give it the respect it deserves.  I'm just glad I wasn't too late.