When I was in junior high, Gommie did something that meant the world to me then and still resonates quite a bit now: she took me out of school, during the day!, to see Return of the Jedi the day it opened. I went to first and second period, if memory serves, while she went and stood in line for tickets. As she told it later, someone even approached the long line and asked what it was for and she asked (or thought) if they'd been under a rock!?! The hype was phenomenal and I was a huge fan. And I saw ROTJ in its second showing on the first day and LOVED IT. She knew I would and she was game to take me out of school and go with me, embracing the craziness of it all--those were the special gifts that have stuck with me three decades or more later--generosity, fun, embracing the experience, support, and encouragement. That's the kind of parent I want to be.
And so we pulled a Gommie tonight. The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies opens tomorrow and we'd long told the kids we'd take them to see it,just like Gommie did for me, possibly even pulling them out of school. But with Mama using up her days off for the holidays, we weren't going to be able to see the film during the day. So, somehow, Mama learned about an advanced release showing today. And got us tickets.
Except we didn't tell the kids. I even rushed them through dinner and told them we all had to go to Home Depot with Mama. We even pulled into the movie theater parking lot and told them ha! ha! we were going to see Penguins of Madagascar since the Hobbit wasn't opening yet. And then . . . we handed them tickets to the Hobbit! Bud actually didn't believe us and was a mite disappointed that we weren't going to Penguins . . . until it dawned on him that we were going to Hobbit tonight. And then the cheering and dancing began.
Which is all very well and good because, it being the culminating film of the series, with sadness and death of some major characters (for which we were prepared) and a violent battle of five armies, it wasn't super cheerful. But we liked it anyway and did managed to laugh at the funny bits and amazing stunts. (Cos Legolas always has the best moves.) And I loved the morals of the tale--friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, courage, love. As Thorin Oakinshield says in the movie, ""If more of us valued home above money, it would be a merrier world." That's all I'm going to say. No spoilers, we warned the kids about talking to their friends. Only gloating that we saw it early.
We got home late, almost 10 pm, and we'll all have trouble getting a move on in the morning, but it was well worth it.