Confession: I’m a crier. Reading “On The Night You Were Born” to my kids. Cried. Watching a particularly well done Folders commercial. Cried. Listening to my son sings “Dream A Little Dream,” the night-night song I’ve sung to him since birth. Cried.
I carry no expectations of a “cry free zone” anywhere. If I’m present, crying might happen. That’s ok.
What is shocking to me? The full on emotional experience that I’ve had while watching kid movies as a parent.
Family vacation, strapped into the backseat with my kids, watching The Lion King, and hurtling down I-70 at 75 miles per hour. Without any of my usual distractions, I’m honestly watching the movie. Paying attention. To a movie I’ve probably watched over 200 times since I first saw it in theaters as a young kid. Sure, I’ve shed a tear for Simba, when he walks up to Mufasa at the bottom of the gorge and climbs under his paw to nuzzle close. What heartless beast hasn’t?
This time, it was another part of the gorge scene that got me. It was Mufasa’s face as he throws himself into a stampede of stampeding wildebeests to save his son. And the thought that, yes, I, too, would throw myself into a stampede to save my son. I’m a mother! I’ve destroyed my body for these kids. Willingly. Without anesthesia! No stampede could ever stop me from getting to them.
I could feel Mufasa’s panic and fear. His sense of urgency. His determination. And, rather than the one glistening tear that accompanies scenes like this, I ushered in a chorus of sobs, heaves, and snorts.
This isn’t the only offender.
Don’t even get me started on Finding Dory! I couldn’t get past the opening, relationship sequence of Up. Meet the Robinson’s? Banned from my house until I learn to get a grip!
While I’m simultaneously trying to embrace my tender heartedness in motherhood, I’m also making a small request: trigger warnings for kid movies? Or, maybe just a mom-to-Mom agreement that y’all will warn me when I may need to reconsider movie choice?