Tonawanda News — • I wasn’t any good at the games anyway.
• The noise level, well, let’s just say the word “cacophony” comes to mind.
I would mope over my sliver of detested pizza every time, despising the time wasted when I could have been at the bookstore (trips to “Buffalo” equaled bookstore time for me because my tiny hometown doesn’t have one). And I looked forward to the day when I wouldn’t have to step foot in the place ever again.
Fast forward 30 years.
Once the boys started getting older, people started suggested we take them there. “They’ll love it!” they said. “It’s perfect for kids!” they said.
I pretended I didn’t hear. I told myself the kids would hate it ... they were my kids, weren’t they? (Ignoring the fact that they were also their uncle’s nephews.) They weren’t old enough anyway.
Then, one gloomy Sunday, with two over-active little boys and nothing to do, I heard myself say it. “Let’s take them to ...” I couldn’t believe myself.
They, of course, loved it.
They ran around nonstop. They wolfed down the food. They played and played and played. They wore themselves out.
Maybe the place wasn’t so bad after all.
I learned a lesson that day. You can’t control everything your children like and dislike. That’s really not the point of parenthood.
And if it’s as innocent as, say, a kids’ gameroom and pizza parlor, you count yourself lucky and go with the flow. Maybe you even wind up, well, liking it a little. Seeing your kids having fun, even in a place you hated, goes a long way toward changing those memories, after all.
My oldest son loves it so much, in fact, that we’ve been earnestly asked to spend the past three birthdays there. And I have a really hard time saying “no” to those big blue eyes, especially when it’s something as ... sigh ... harmless as this.
Happy birthday, Jim. I still can’t believe I’m the mother of an 8-year-old, but I hope it was fabulous.
Even at the Big Mouse House.
Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at email@example.com.Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.