Sunday, July 20, 2014


A couple of years ago--well, precisely 4 years ago--I took DD to see Ramona and Beezus on the big screen. I remember walking out of the theater with all the feels. You see, I had read Beezus and Ramona, by Beverly Cleary, to DD the summer after her kindergarten year. Then she proceeded to read the rest of the 8-book series on her own over the next year. The movie was not a cinematic masterpiece, by any means; it was rather a girly, feel-good movie that appealed to a small, mostly young and feminine part of the population. But it got to me, because it was the first movie that I had watched alone with DD.

I remember feeling excited and calling it a Mother-Daughter Movie Date. We settled in with our popcorn and beverage, and watched the characters laugh, cry, falter, grow, and triumph on the big screen. I laughed and cried (can't help it--I'm a sentimental schmuck) and my heart swelled, willingly accepting the spot-on manipulations of Hollywood and its cheese. It didn't matter, because inside that dark, cavernous theater, I felt like a little girl all over again. I curled up my feet and munched on popcorn, much like the little seven-year-old next to me. My little girl.

Source: Wikipedia

Fast forward four years.

Two months ago, I had finally relented and gave the book The Fault in Our Stars to DD. She is a voracious reader, and is constantly seeking new books to read. I read this wildly popular John Green book earlier this year, and I noted that it was recommended for grade 9 and above. Probably because it's a love story, about cancer and dying, and portrays some tender, intimate moments between young adults. But it wasn't so much the themes of dying and sex that held me back from letting DD read this. (Okay, well, it was, to a degree.) It was more that she hadn't reached the adolescent stage of developing romantic relationships or experienced the emotions of falling in love. I wasn't sure how much she would get out of reading this book.

Source: Amazon

But I had it on my Kindle and she was asking for a new book. Again. 

So I decided to let her have a go. She could always read it again later and may be able to relate to it on a deeper level. Not surprisingly, she really liked the book, and we talked about many aspects of it afterwards, just so I'm sure she didn't have any questions about the intimate moments or about cancer and dying.

Yesterday, we had another Mother-Daughter Movie Date.

This time, some things remained the same, and some things were different.

Source: Wikipedia

We got our popcorn and beverage, watched a few movie trailers of dystopian books that we/I have read (namely, The Giver and The Maze Runner, and they both looked good--I sense more Mother-Daughter Movie Dates soon), and began watching the movie. Halfway through, I leaned over and said to DD, "Um, get ready for my waterfall, cuz it's coming." She chuckled and handed me a wad of popcorn napkins. I gave one back to her, just in case.

Then I cried my ugly cry during the second half of the movie.

Because Hazel Grace and her big, huge watery eyes. Augustus Waters and his dashing, boyish smile. Oh. My. Heart.

I cried the feels of my forty-some-odd years of life experience on love and loss thus far and what is to come. I cried for the journey that lies ahead for DD--what love and loss she will come to know and live. I cried for the meaningless injustice of cancer--the lives it took and what Life have been robbed of those that are left behind. I cried for the privilege of having been able to love and having been loved. I cried for the fortune of my blessed, rich life.

That pathetic wad of napkins had no chance.

I knew that this was another one of my very special moments shared with DD, even though it was just the two of us watching a movie. And when Hazel and her mom embraced after a heart-to-heart shouting match, my mama bear heart exploded and I cursed at the wad of wet napkins--unrecognizable because it had been torn into mushy pieces many times over--too weak to handle the weight casted upon these fragile apron strings.

After the movie, I thought back to the time DD and I watched Ramona and Beezus, when her defined cheekbones were still masked under her round, bouncy cheeks--when she was just a young tendril unfurling and reaching for anchor. Now, she is a woman child, about to fully grasp and support her Self, on the cusp of adolescence, teetering between a girlhood of silly giggles and a young adulthood of delicate modesty.

Oh, how Time slays me.

As for DD, who watched the movie with a book critic's eye, used her age-appropriate analytical brain rather than the cognitive emotional brain of an older adolescent. My little girl, who claimed that she almost cried, didn't need that single napkin after all. Like I said, she's not quite there yet. But she will be. She's just starting out and there's a long road of feels ahead. And if she's anything like her mama, one day, she will cry Niagara Falls, too.

But I know that some things will never change, even when the movie titles do. We'll always have our movie dates, and there will always be movies that stand out for us. Most importantly, no matter how tall she gets or how mature she becomes, she'll still be my little girl and my Star upon shiny Stars.



  1. I loved both of those movies, Sandra. I am really enjoying sharing movies from my youth with my teenagers now. Ferris Beulker, Dirty Dancing, The Breakfast Club. Always something to look forward to with these growing kids!

  2. I took Anna to see Ramona and Beezus in the theater after we read through the entire series.
    We both got lice a week later.
    From the movie theater.
    I am not lying.

    Anna and I went with some friends to see The Fault In Our Stars a few weeks ago.
    It was my first time back in the theater after the "lice extravaganza".

    I am not kidding.

    I love this post so much because it made me tear up but also I love being friends with people who love spending time with their kids.
    Did you know there are people who DON'T like to do that???
    So this makes me happy.

    But I am wearing a hair net to the movies going forward.

  3. Awwww, sweetly written words, Sandra! Especially how you connect with the book and movie differently from your daughter. You are bringing all of your life's experiences in the past and hopes for the future. She is bringing the words on the page. I definitely would have cried a Niagara Falls while watching this. I let out a tear when the trailer came out, sheesh! And don't even get me started on mom-child moments. I need a pillow to cry on! Anywho, glad you two are enjoying reading and movies together. I hope my children and I have things to share such as this. And oh, I wasn't even halfway through my copy when I had to return it to the library :(. UGH!

  4. This is a sweet post, Sandra. Having two sons, I'm a little sad I won't share these types of moments. Sure, I watch movies with them, but boys' emotions are wired differently (and their taste in movies isn't really conducive to to emotional connection :) ) I'm glad you are able to share these experiences through reading and film. They are surely memories your daughter will keep forever!

  5. I was SUCH A mush during The Fault in Our Stars. I know it was not the most well written, etc but oh did it manipulate me, and I enjoyed it. I'm not quite ready to watch these kinds of movie with my kids, but I'll get there eventually. We're still excited about Inside Out and the Minions Movie (they only watched the trailer twice. This morning.) :)

    1. Oh, we are STILL excited about Inside Out and The Minions! Glad to know I'm not alone in my sob-fest. :) Thanks for stopping by... and getting me to actually write a post... out soon.