Each year on New Year’s Day we take our family out to a movie and then we go out for Chinese food. This tradition began when our oldest two were just 3 years old. We either had them on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day opposite years and we wanted to make the latter something special for them when they were with us. In 2014 almost everything is open on NYD, but 25 years ago, the only restaurants that were open (besides fast food) were Chinese restaurants and it is my Honey’s favorite kind of food, so there you have it! As our family grew, it became increasingly difficult to find a movie that everyone would enjoy. There is a 7 year gap between the first two and the next one. We have 4 boys and one girl, who all have VERY different personalities. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia movies have always been no-brainers for us and I was SO happy when a new one of those made my life easier. Although, the year Frodo’s eyes bugged out satanically when he saw the ring, I wasn’t so sure I had chosen a good movie for Aaron and Hannah who climbed on top of our heads in fear after Jordan and Scott whispered urgent warnings to us that that part was coming up – which we didn’t hear until it was too late. It still kills me that Caleb just sat through it with a smirk on his face!
This year we went to see “Saving Mr. Banks.” It was a tough choice. There wasn’t a clear-cut winner while I was taking votes and doing the research. I think we all love Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, but I was afraid it might be a bit girly for all of our men… My Honey watched and enjoyed a preview and it fit into our time slot, so “Saving Mr. Banks” was the 2014 NYD Winner!!!
Kind of exhausting… and charming… and fascinating to see how she had worked through her past by creating this lovely child’s tale. I’m sure it wasn’t a completely accurate picture of P.L. Travers. I’ve read several accounts about her life that show she had an adopted son who was a twin and who recently died of alcoholism. She was also confused sexually, having hetero- and homosexual relationships that were mostly unhealthy. Gosh! I wish that her life would’ve been like the movie in that she worked through her “junk” with her parents, and returned to England with a new lease on life.
I want that for her because I want that for me. I want it for the other people in my life who are striving like me to move on with their lives in peace even though some days just weigh you down with such grief. I love my heavenly Father and I know He loves me and most days I have such peace about that and it is enough. Some (rare) days I hit this wall that says, “They’ve never really loved you and you aren’t worth the fight,” and that knocks me off of my everything for just a while. I used to fight these days and believed that it meant I was right back where I used to be, living in the lie. When it happens now, I just allow myself the grief. I sit in it and move through it with Him and it’s okay. The lie is still the lie… and so is the truth.
I’m working to make a different story for my children. I’m still human and a product of my family of origin – the good and the bad. I make mistakes – too often. I work to remain humble in my relationships with my Honey and my children. Our family code is “Grace” and we strive to live by it. Defining it is not easy. We’ve come to believe it doesn’t mean that you are a doormat and can’t have healthy boundaries, but it does mean unconditional love and acceptance. It means we have to be very authentic with each other and that’s just uncomfortable sometimes. Occasionally, in my attempt to be authentic, I overstep my loved ones’ boundaries. Now and then, when my children make a critical observation about me, I want to shut them down and tell them to treat me with respect because I am their mother – but geez, who’s going to respect that kind of reaction? I’m still working on getting better at that one. It doesn’t fit into my perfect martyr mother picture of myself that I would like everyone to embrace… We try SO hard not to sweep our junk under the rug because we’ve experienced very painfully how that blows up in everyone’s face, that sometimes we over talk stuff that just needs to be put to bed and left alone. It isn’t easy, being transparent and choosing unconditional love. I’m sure our children will write blogs one day about how we messed them up… Well, truth be told, I’m hoping they won’t. That’s why I’ve chosen this road…