One of the hardest parts of having a family as diverse as ours – “blended” family with kids 7+ years apart – is trying to find a way to have meaningful quality time where no one feels left out, and no one feels pandered to.
(This goes for us as adults, too.)
Because if we attend a live-action show that may appeal, say, to the five-year-old… well, the twelve-year-old feels a bit too old to be there. But if we aim for a movie that the twelve-year-old would enjoy? Yeah, we lose the five-year-old pretty quickly.
And let’s not even get started on trying to keep the forty-year-old interested.
The one common ground we’ve found: sporting events.
We’re pretty fortunate here in the Rocket City; we have several teams that realize that the family-friendly market is an extremely viable one. They specialize in fast-paced, highly structured action… with a good dose of costumed mascots. (Make no mistake: that’s MY favorite part.) There’s tons of memorabilia to choose from to “treat” the kids, and you can pretty cheaply take the family out for a memorable evening.
To this day, the five year old will recount meeting an inflatable astronaut mascot at an indoor football game. He was three when this happened, but he remembers it as vividly as it was yesterday.
All boys – ages 5, 12, and 40 – are equally stoked to sit in the stands and smell the popcorn and pretzels as we cheer on a team. (Not even OUR team, just A team. Any team will do.) It’s a special “night out”, one that they all remember for weeks or months or (obviously) years to come. I always enjoy the photo opportunities!
So, really, if you have the same problem I do (“What would we ALL enjoy?”), I highly recommend a sports outing. The actual sport doesn’t really matter (as you can see, we’re not picky), but all getting out together and finding a common cause to root for? Totally priceless.
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