The Movies

Both my parents worked when I was growing up. I was six weeks old when I started at my godmother’s daycare. For ten years, she played a near-daily role in my life. That amount of time gave her great influence in my life – food, music, faith, reading, and movies.

I loved her room – it seemed one whole wall had bookshelves full of books. I do believe I gained my love of reading through the hours she spent reading to us, all our walking trips to the library, and the immense amount of time she let me lay on her bed reading any of the books from her shelves.

We always took field trips – to the Zoo, to Frontier Village (now gone), to San Francisco on the train, to the pool at the nearby high school where my brother and I joined the competitive swim team, to the convenience store for candy and slurpees, and to Thrifty for ice cream.  She also took all of us in the daycare to Vacation Bible School each summer. Pretty sure my mom still has some of the crafts we made there.

One of the things I remember most is going to the movies with her. She took us to the drive-in, as well as the theater. We watched movies at her house too, on tv. She made each trip an event, piling a bunch of kids in the car, settling us with popcorn and drinks in the back seat of the car or in the row in the darkened theater.

I can’t tell you all the movies we saw with her, but every time I walk into a theater and settle into my seat, I think of her. I think of those trips with her. It makes my heart smile. While I do love watching movies at home, there’s just something about going to the theater – seeing it on the big screen, in a reclining seat,  surrounded by other people. It is a process getting tickets, standing in the concessions line, paying entirely too much for a bag of popcorn, hoping you’re there in time to get a seat in  your prime, preferred location (I like to be midway up, or slightly higher, but on an aisle in case I have to take a bathroom break. My eyes don’t adjust to lighting changes very well, and I get paranoid about re-finding my seat in a dark theater!), but it just isn’t the same to wait for the movie to come out on DVD or On Demand.

I’ve taken the kids to the movies a lot recently.  We’ll probably go to the theater at least a few times this summer. And I’ll think of my godmother each and every time – of all the experiences she gave us, all the memories she helped create, and the role she played in shaping the person I am today.


Praying for her

A few days back, a friend shared an article with me, written by a woman whose husband was diagnosed as autistic at age 30, just after their daughter was diagnosed. The woman wrote that the things she loved most about him were his most autistic traits. That hit me, hard.

As a mom, and even though we are very, very, (hopefully) very far away from knowing the people my children will each marry, I think about them sometimes. I started praying for those particular people a few years back, but I pray especially for the woman who will marry my sweet Little Man.

She will need to be patient. She will need to listen to him talk on and on whenever he gets obsessed with some particular topic or object. She will  need to be patient when he needs, constantly, to have certain things just so. She will need to understand his need to decompress after extended periods of time with people. She will need to be okay with him wanting to stay home sometimes. She will need to get that he doesn’t really like to travel, but he will do it, under duress, to please her. She will need to know that he won’t really like her to make new things for dinner, but would rather stick to his tried-and-true chicken strips, pasta with butter and Parmesan, cheese pizza, chicken and noodles with white sauce, and plain bread. She will have to tolerate computers and parts of computers laying all over the house. She may need to learn to sleep under a weighted blanket. She will need ear plugs so she doesn’t have to listen to him grinding his teeth or yelling out in his sleep. She will need to love his quirky, pun-filled sense of humor.  She will need to be able to listen to his ideas without her eyes glazing over. She will need to be able to tolerate his music and videos playing in the background, always. She will need to get that he doesn’t “get” everything. She will need to know how to pull him up when he’s in that very dark  place. She will need to remember that he forgets, and know to remind him. She will need to appreciate his desire to wear sweat pants every single day. She will need to love his brilliance, his sensitivity, the amazing way his mind works.

I pray for her, all the time. She will need to be special to take on my boy, but what she will get in him….she’s a lucky girl, and she will need to know that, or she won’t be good enough for him. I pray for her.