(We) Lost It At The Movies –

When you adopt you are unlikely to have a child that looks like you especially that “mini me” resemblance. I have known scores of friends whose biologically children strongly favor them physically.

You will however see yourself in the child you adopt. I didn’t realize how many times a day I used the word ”Wow” and the various inflections I used it with.  “Wow!” (usually enthusiasm but could be astonished – both of which occur for me several times a day) “Wow.” (stunned, judgey, can’t think of anything else to say. May or may not be accompanied by a sigh), the elongated “Wowwwww.” and the ever popular, “Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.”

Before my own realization I asked Ward, “Have you noticed how often Thorin says “Wow”? My husband’s answer was dry as the Sahara,  “At least as many times as you do.” “Wow.”

A love of mine – actually now both an avocation and vocation* – is movies. I was raised in a “solidly working-class home” but at dinnertime you might mistake us all for some loud, weird multi-generational hybrid of the Dick Cavett Show (seriously if you don’t know Google it) where films and actors were dissected at length. One of the biggest and best discussions thrown out by our dad one night was “Humphrey Bogart – movie star or character actor?” The sparks flew that night and we came to the conclusion he was both.

Throrin’s first movie going experience was suggested by his sister – who informed us loves movies herself and so did her whole family. All the children in the house had been named after film characters or actors.

The four of us went to Toy Story 3 (2010). Thorin sat in the middle on Ward’s lap with his sister on one side and me on the other. I got to observe first hand how one comes to lose it at the movies (brief acknowledgment of Pauline Kael here).

First, Thorin was by far the loudest person in the theater. When a character re-appeared in a later scene he cheered. At a small lull in the action he looked away from the screen and did a 180 with his head examining the room and then turned to me and the expression on his face was, “How the hell did I get here?!” Before my eyes I saw he was hooked on this magic experience of sitting in a dark movie theater and becoming transfixed by the silver screen.

Since then, the only word he uses more than “wow” is “movie”. He has over 30 DVDs ranging from the sublime (the Toy Story series and the complete Shrek) to the ridiculous (The Muppets Take Manhattan). Ward and I have realized some of these “kid movies” are really like any good movie. Ward’s comment on Toy Story 3 was, “What a great message – don’t give up and everybody stay together.”

I can’t help but notice that the story is about a group of toys that are not ‘related’ to each other but they have become a family.

* I have worked as a documentary videographer and editor, I have founded a film and video festival, I currently am employed as the executive and artistic director of a film festival and along with my sister write the blog Smoking at the Movies – SATM. If you like atypicalson check out SATM.

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Inclusion, Marriage, Parenting, Random life by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She has a M.S.W. and has been at various times a practicing social worker, documentary videographer, film festival director and retail clerk. She is the author of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

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