Sometimes in life, things happen and you have no control over them. Sometimes they can be good and sometimes … well … they can be not so good. When this happens, you don’t always get to choose what you think would be best for your family. Sometimes you just get to pick up the pieces that are left over and stitch them back together into something new. It’s a lot like that when a spouse leaves and no longer takes part in the family you thought you had created together.

The simple things you used to do together as a couple and as a parenting unit, you now have to do on your own: dinner times, bath times, story times, and bedtimes — all the different “times” of the day that we all have as parents. In many ways, these times become a lot more straightforward and simple when only one person is responsible for them. But I’ve also noticed it becomes a lot easier to get stuck in a rut, doing the same things the same way every single day.

Recently, my children and I started doing something new to help us break up the monotony: Movie Night. Every week, we pick one night and  “camp out” in the living room for the evening. We make beds on the floor or the couch, make cheesy popcorn, and watch a movie together. We laugh and giggle. We make a mess, and I don’t get upset about it … for once. We snuggle, talk, and knit our hearts closer together.

I have really come to love this special time with my kiddos. I love to watch their reactions to movies I’ve seen before and hold them in my lap during the “scary” parts. I love to watch them smile and hear them laugh out loud. I love to answer the questions that come up and the teachable moments that spontaneously occur because of a character’s comment or actions.

“Movie Night” is quickly becoming a tradition in our family.