Friday, June 18, 2010

Cartoons and Crying

Toy Story 3 with Woody and all his friends

While waiting for the sun to come out yesterday, without telling me, the kids decided to pull out a stack of the old home movies. I had no idea what they were up to until I walked past the family room and saw two little blond-haired kids splashing in a kiddie pool. I stopped dead in my tracks. It has been so long since I've seen any of our old home movies, I was somewhat stunned to see my man-child sitting in the chair watching himself as a three-year old. And then there was Rachel smiling as she watched herself as a one-year old who would trip over the side of the little pool every single time she tried to "jump" in. I had to stop what I was doing. I sat down and watched and was mesmerized.

How is it even possible that eleven years has gone by? How can that little boy on the television screen be that man sitting in the chair five feet away? How can that little girl with the tiny pony tail be the tall girl with the big pony tail? I don't know. As I sat there, I felt like I was outside myself. I remembered the scenes like they had just happened yesterday.

One of the videos we watched was of Caleb's 4th birthday. I must have been one whacked-out woman! Our driveway is over 150 feet long. Do you know that I hand-painted huge purple T-Rex tracks from across the street (where a house was being built) all the way up our driveway? As the tracks disappeared into the woods, the little party goers found a huge dinosaur nest filled with dinosaur eggs (the kiddie pooled filled and covered with straw and then filled with big white water-filled balloons). And then there was the sandbox perfectly lined with little shovels and buckets. Buried beneath the sand was bone-shaped dog biscuits, you know, so the kids could be paleontologists and dig for dinosaur bones. I found myself myself. I thought I had done it all for the kids, but I think I must have done it for me. Oh, to have that much creativity and energy again! What wonderful fond memories.

So today we took the kids to see Toy Story 3. Caleb and Rachel have grown-up with Woody and Buzz Lightyear. I knew the story line of the movie, but I was not at all prepared for the emotions that hit me as I sat there and watched a cartoon mother walk into Andy's empty bedroom. "What will I do without you?" she asks. That was it for me. Tears started welling up in my eyes and then spilling out onto my cheeks as I sat there sniffling. Honestly, I had a big ugly cry right there in the theatre. Even now the tears come.

Are you planning on seeing the movie? If you're feeling emotional, do yourself a favor and follow these guidelines, especially if you have kids in middle or high school:

1. Do NOT watch home videos of your children when they were little before seeing this movie
2. Do not wear mascara unless it is waterproof
3. Have a stack of tissues in hand
4. Sit in the back row where it's darkest
5. Wait until the movie is completely over, including all the credits, before leaving
6. Have your sunglasses on before you walk out in public
7. Realize there's nothing you can do about your red nose

If your husband is anything like Mr. Wonderful, he will cry sympathy tears for you.

If your child has just graduated from high school and will soon be leaving for college, you might want to skip this movie for now. Really.

Cartoons and crying doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Please let me know if it was just me. If you see this movie and then wonder what all my hub-bub was about, then I'll know I was just being an emotional woman. But I am telling you, I'm almost positive I wasn't the only one crying.

Oh Woody! What will we do without you?


  1. AnonymousJune 18, 2010

    OK, now it wasn't the movie that brought tears to my old eyes it was reading your Blog and thinking back to when my Little Gal moved away to School and never came back to live at "Home" again. Now she has been there more years than here :(''' boo hoo Someone said once that if a parent does things right, you give them their wings to fly and leave the nest. WELL they don't have to fly so darned far now, do they? Thanks for the memories and the tears. And I really mean that. It's good to cry sometimes. Clears up your eyes.

  2. Oh dear. I don't have any kids at all and I'm sure already that I'll cry! :P

  3. As always...LOVE IT!!! Very Proud too!!