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 dictionary.com definition of privilege.
priv·i·lege[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.