Tonight after the homework was done, I sat on the couch with the kids while they watched The Lorax. I didn't sit for the whole movie, but for the first twenty minutes I stayed put, with children sitting on and around me. Their giggles are more intense, I have noticed, when I watch with them.
I hate the Lorax. I would never watch it by choice. And I don't sit down to watch movies much. There is always too much to do. Movies and videos are things I watch while doing housework, something to take the edge off time-consuming tasks that bore me.
My mother is a fiercely energetic woman who rarely sat down in my childhood. She was always active, always doing. The few tv shows that could tempt her to sit on the couch with us became events. I watched Remington Steele curled up next to her on the couch, even though she did not approve of Mr. Steele. "Oh," she would say when asked why she watched it anyway, "this show grows on you." A rerun of the original Start Trek might persuade her to sit for a while ("Oh, that Captain Kirk has such blue eyes"), and I once watched an old Humphrey Bogart movie with my head on her shoulder. I don't remember which one it was, but I remember Bogart made her heart beat faster.
There is always so much to do. It feels like nothing is ever done. But those thirty-year-old memories of my mother are precious to me, even now when she lives a mile away. They will be even dearer when she is gone.
So I sit on the couch and watch The Lorax. I laugh at the giggles, if not at the movie, and I hope some day my girls will remember this moment too.