Family dinners make my son nuts.
Come. Sit. Be Good. Sit Down. Sit. Eat This. Eat More. Stay and Tell the Adults About Yourself. Sit.
I guess they make all kids anxious, but I remember liking the Big Family dinners when I was a kid, because my seat was always right next to my Grandmother's, even when there was a Kid's Table. She always kept my plate full of black olives and celery sticks. Made me feel special.
Anyway, we knew that Seder with fifteen people was not going to be any fun for my son, and I didn't want to have to answer the same question four hundred times ("Isn't Saul going to sit with us?"), so I decided early on that he and I would go to the movies.
We saw "Meet the Robinsons", which was pleasant enough, but not GREAT, and not terrible.
I'm giving away the plot here to get to my son's comment at the end, so if you want to maintain your suspenseful enjoyment of an animated Disney film, read no further.
The movie's about a young bright kid, Lewis, who's been abandoned at an orphanage. He's so bright that he doesn't fit in well, and keeps not being adopted. He's visited by a kid from the future, who takes him forward to meet a collection of screwy folks who have all come together as a family called The Robinsons. At the end of the movie it is revealed that Lewis is the time traveler's father, a successful and famous inventor, and adult Lewis and child Lewis have a heart to heart about how to get over adversity. Basically don't let the bad stuff derail you and "keep moving forward" with a positive attitude. Very Disney.
The lights come up in the theater and my son says to me, eyes fixed on the screen, "I can't WAIT for this to come out on DVD!"
"Really? You liked it?"
"That kid's just like me. I think I'm going to be a great person one day. I know it."
"Yes, kid. You are."
"And Mom, I know how to get over stuff, I do. I just forget a lot."
"I know. But you know, the moment you figure out what your Thing is, whether it's inventing, or whatever, you are going to make your mark on the world."
"Just like Lewis."
"I love this movie."
So that was all sappy, I know. But it was still really great to hear that my son still has a positive outlook on his life. It made for a beter seder than sitting around and eating horseradish. At least for me.