After a L-O-N-G 13 year wait
the day had finally arrived.
Nemo, Dory, and all our fishy friends were back on the big screen!
Finding Nemo was THE most watched movie of my children’s childhood. Rusty in particular was enthralled with this Disney gem. When it first arrived in theatres my babies were 2, 3, and 5 years old.
We saw it on the big screen and then when it came out on DVD we watched it about 100,000 more times
And with that sort of fan following devotion you can just imagine the glee and anticipation in our home in the months leading up to its sequel. We heard about the coming of Finding Dory a year ago and have been counting down the days until it hit the big screen ever since.
We knew we couldn’t wait a day longer than opening day and planned to see it on its release date. It was funning seeing my 18, 16, and 14 year old as excited about seeing Finding Dory as their 5, 3, and 2 year old selves were about seeing Finding Nemo 13 years ago.
We decided to make it extra special and go see it at the drive in movie theatre. So after a day of strawberry picking, graduation parties and picking up a few extra little people we drove over to Dependable Drive-in.
We arrived two hours before the movie began, anticipating big crowds with it being opening night for a much anticipated Disney sequel. We were right and our decision to arrive extra early was a good call. We were able to get a spot near the front with a clear view of the screen.
With us we had Tyler’s biological brother, Sean, as well as two little friends we were watching for the weekend….
The result was loud, noisy, chaos. 🙂
The blessing was that we were at a drive in movie theatre where running and yelling and playing is not only expected but encouraged. Around us we were surrounded by other families with children who were running and playing while waiting for the sun to sink low enough in the sky for the movie to begin.
We packed frisbees and footballs to play with in the grass and cards and board games to keep everyone entertained from 7:00 pm until 9:05 pm.
Tyler and Sean loved their time together. They played football for two hours and were sadly disappointed when the movie began and they had to quit. Tyler’s siblings are very much like him. They all are very physical and athletic and are happiest when they can be running and rough housing. I was grateful Tyler was able to get that time with Sean. They don’t get together with their siblings as often as we’d like, so when we can get them together we work hard to make it happen.
But, that is not to say it is easy. It is actually extremely challenging. Both boys have a shared history of trauma and abuse and when they get together there is a regression into those old roles and behaviors. Thier play gets extremely physical and needs to be guided and directed because it is almost as though they don’t know how to play in a learned, healthy way.
The result: a very tired Momma and Daddy by the end of the weekend.
We also had two of the three little ones we have been helping with for the past 6 months. These are the kids who lost their Mom and Grandma in the last 6 months. They have become like unofficial foster children to us as we have stepped in and helped care for them in the midst of a lot of turmoil in their lives. They are leaving next week to move to Kentucky with their father. It is with heavy, hurting, worried hearts that we say good-bye to these sweets souls. This was their last weekend with us and with that knowledge came some hard emotions.
As positive as this weekend was for the children, it left Toby and I feeling drained by the end of it. It is hard seeing the hurt and brokenness that comes from trauma and knowing you can’t “fix” it no matter how much you would give to heal their hearts and their hurts… *sigh*
So we did what we could…all that we could…and that was to give of our time and hearts and home and try to make this weekend a gift and a respite from the hard stuff in their lives.
As the sun began to fall below the tree line everyone began to get settled, choosing their movie viewing spot for the night. Some sat in the van, others laid down on blankets, while the rest moved their camping chairs to the front of the van.
Snacks were handed out. Special “Finding Dory” gummy candies were the treat of the evening. 🙂
Then the national anthem began to play and the movie began.
It was delightful! I was so afraid that after 13 years of loving Finding Nemo that Finding Dory would be a letdown, but it wasn’t at all. With the same charming main characters and the addition of some new favorites this movie did not disappoint. I found myself grinning ear to ear as I listened to my big 14 year old boy laugh his man’s laugh with the same delight that he did when he was a toddler.
The movie ended at 11:00 and then the second feature began: “The Jungle Book.”
This movie did not hold the interest of the youngest five kids as well as the first movie did and I found myself chasing preschoolers, soothing hurts, and breaking up pick-up football games rather than watching the movie so at 12:20 am we finally threw in the towel, loaded up kiddos, and left to tuck everyone in bed.
Goodnight Fishies, everywhere!