Smurfs, Clichés, and Magic Moments

Posted Aug 9 2011, 7:15 pm in , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been Smurfed.

This afternoon I took my kids and went to watch The Smurfs in 3D. I don’t care what the critics say, in fact I have no idea what they’ve said, but it was a very cute movie.

I loved those little blue guys as a child, and I certainly enjoyed it today. But it was more than just cute, it also contained some very important messages. For adults though, as I’m sure they were lost on my children.


At one point in the show, Patrick (played by Neil Patrick Harris) looks at an ultrasound picture of his unborn child and realizes that the job he’s stressing out about, is really not important in the grand scheme of things. He’s looking at the most important thing – his future family.

Yes, I realize it sounds cheesy and cliché. That’s because it is.

But that scene brought tears to my eyes and made me stop and think.

Just hours before, I’d had a similar moment when I walked away from my overflowing inbox of emails from a client, the to-do list a mile long for my website, my work in progress, the backlog of lessons from two online classes and a house full of dirty bathrooms and laundry. I walked away to spend the afternoon with my kids instead. All the way to the theater I was stressed. I’d even brought a notebook in my purse to jot down ideas or sketch out some scenes during the show. After all, I’m nothing if not a champion multi-tasker.

Once we got there, I got lost in the kids excitement. We don’t go to movies a lot and every part of it is fun for them. I didn’t pull out my notebook, instead I sat back and lost myself in the story of The Smurfs.

Towards the end of the show, my daughter leaned over, put her head on my shoulder and said, “This is just perfect.”

Indeed. It was.

It’s not always possible to put life on hold and play hooky for the day, but it’s sure a good idea to do it every once in a while. When was the last time you, “Had a moment”?


Speaking of moments, take a moment and see what readers are saying about my debut novel, Nothing Stays In Vegas. Only $2.99 in the Amazon store.

Photo compliments of



24 responses to “Smurfs, Clichés, and Magic Moments”

  1. Naomi Bulger says:

    I love this:

    ‘Towards the end of the show, my daughter leaned over, put her head on my shoulder and said, “This is just perfect.”’

    I can’t imagine a better way to spend time.

  2. Linda Burke says:

    Hooray for you. Your kids won’t remember the things you needed to do, but they will remember the love you shared this afternoon.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks, Linda.
      That’s what I think too. It feels so good to let go of the ‘to-do list guilt’ and focus just on the kids.
      Thanks for the comment.

  3. Kate Wood says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes!
    I think all of us parents get that way sometimes…forget about the importance of play and living in the moment.
    Funny…aren’t we supposed to be teaching them about life??

    Excellent post!

    ~ Kate

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks, Kate.
      And excellent point. We ARE supposed to be teaching them about life. Sometimes, it takes a few little smurfs to help out I guess. 🙂

  4. Liz McLennan says:

    These ARE the moments, aren’t they?
    When we hit “Pause” on the stuff that fills our days and simply look around, marveling.

    As you know, I had a similar day today – must be a mid-summer ennui thing – and couldn’t be any more delighted with the way things DIDN’T unfold, as they “should” have. At the end of the day, no chores got done, but my kids were happy and I got a blog post out of it!

    I mean, really? What more can we ask for, eh?

  5. Kent Travis says:

    What a great day. You sound slammed, but you somehow saw a glimpse of “what matters most.” (Yeah, I cliche popped. Sorry.) These little epiphonies are a treasure; thank God for them… and for children who often bring them our way–and often don’t even know it.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Kent, there’s a reason these things are cliches right? 🙂
      And yes, thank goodness for the kids. They’ve helped me in so many ways.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hartford says:

    Love how you reminded all of us to let go of life demands from time-to-time and focus on what really matters…great post!!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks, Natalie.
      Sometimes it can be so hard to step away from the to-do list. But it’s the thing we need most. I need to remember that for next time.
      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  7. Your kids grow up so fast that you have to take a few moments. Great post!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Jillian, I remember when my kids were babies I used to hate it when people told me to “enjoy every moment, it’ll be gone before you know it.”
      But now that my kids are nine and ‘half way there” as my Dad put it, I realize how true it is.
      They DO grow up so fast. And before I know it they’ll be pre-teens, and teens, and the idea of spending an afternoon with me at the movies will horrify them.
      I’ll hang on while I can. 🙂
      thanks for stopping by.

  8. Ahh, like others I’m a little misty eyed from this post. It really is those moments that matter most and I’m so glad you were able to keep the notebook put away and lose yourself for even that short span of time. It’s so important and too often we forget to do that.

    My 20 year-old just moved away to San Francisco for the second time (the first was at 17 1/2). They grow up way too fast! And don’t tell anyone, but my 13 year-old still likes to hang out with me. He hasn’t gotten to the ‘oh my god, mom is so embarrassing’ stage. Hopefully he won’t.

    I’m going to go give him a hug. ; )

    • Elena Aitken says:

      I’m SO glad to hear your 13 year old still likes to hang out with you. I think my son will, but my daughter already has low tolerance for the ‘uncoolness’ that is mom.

      thanks for the comment!

  9. Great life lesson, Elena, and one we all need to be reminded of now and then.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks, David.
      Now if only I could set a reminder for this one. Of wait…maybe I can. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    Great post, Elena. Made me get up, stop worrying about life and go hang out with my girls. Thanks for that.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Ah thanks, Trish.
      I hope the flight was good and you’re enjoying yourself down East.
      Stop worrying about all that other stuff…it’ll still be here when you get back. 😉

  11. Ali Dent says:

    What a beautiful memory. As a mother with grown daughters I can tell you to make as many memories as possible because they grow up and create a lovely life of their own and while we aren’t absent from their lives, they aren’t as available for us to love on like they are when they’re little. Beautiful post:)

    Playing hooky might actually be a moment in the eternal work we’re called to. You’re a great mom!

  12. So true, Elena. I have to remind myself that the kids grow so quickly and every day brings new wonders. It’s so easy for those moments to slip away. I am not as good multitasker as I’ve used to be but I break my tasks into smaller blocks and I also make sure to fit some fun in-between. My kids are my priority, even when I have a deadline to meet. It’s hard but I’ve done otherwise in the past and have always regretted it.

  13. You’re going to laugh, but for me, if I exclude the Back to School moments we had last week, the last summer moment I had with my kidlets was going to see The Smurfs. We had gone to my daughter’s school’s Welcome Fair, came home to eat lunch and hurried off to see The Smurfs in 3D…..which we arrived too late for. I pulled over, called the theater, listened forever and a half to the recording and to our delight, we were right on time for the traditional 2D showing and that was just fine by us.

    It had been a day of welcoming in the new and the exciting at my daughter’s new school and later, relishing the not necessarily old, but rather the familiar: the three of us, together, mutually enjoying the little blue dudes. And ironically, The Smurfs are in and of themselves, old & familiar to me, though new & exciting to the kids.

    (I saw your contest in the above post & I’ll be back later to join in & spread the word when I’m on my own computer. :>)

  14. […] fact, I recently blogged about how much I enjoy hanging out with […]

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