When my parents would go out on date nights, or when we would beg them endlessly, my brother and I were allowed to spend the night at my Nana and Poppy’s house. After playing outside for hours, I would come in and head straight to the blue bathroom. As I played and bathed in the bathtub, my eyes floated to the blue whale on the wall. My Nana would sit next to the tub and just talk with me and help me wash my hair. She had a pink plastic cup that she used to rinse the suds out. I would climb out of the tub, dry off in a fuzzy towel and slip on my pjs . I still remember the cold of the wood floor on my feet. I would run and jump on the couch as quickly as possible.
After cleaning the bathroom aftermath of two, sometimes four, rambunctious grandchildren, my Nana would pop a bag of popcorn for us to share. She would lay out a cushion for me to sit on, pull out her shoe box of curlers, and curl my hair as we watched a movie or TV. I cannot count the amount of times we pulled out VHS tapes from the closet or rented movies from Flick Video. My Nana and Poppy loved a good story. Sometimes during the movies, my Nana would paint my fingernails and tease my Poppy who had just dozed off for the 3rd of 4th time during the movie. I do not remember the names of the many movies or shows that we watched, but I fondly remember this quality time spent with people that I love.
We not only watched movies at home. My Nana Pat made an adventure out of seeing movies at the Theater or State Line Drive In. We would load up on buttery popcorn, boxed candy, and soft drinks to enjoy during the movie. She took us to movie premieres, matinee showings, Dollar Theaters, etc. As long as it was a movie, appropriate for the viewers, my Nana treated us to a few hours of fun and entertainment. As I got older, my Nana began discussing the movies and asking me questions to make me think deeply about their meanings and purpose. Nana Pat believed that their are lessons to be unearthed and treasured in everything.
To this day I still love movies, and have a prized collection. I enjoy seeking for deeper meanings and watching movies that are culturally relevant. There is something special about the way that entertainment can provide perspective on topics in which we do not fully feel comfortable or confident thinking or talking about. Movies or TV shows are a great springboard for discussion. My Nana realized this truth early on and utilized her ability to carry on meaningful discussions with her family. In honor of my Nana today, I will watch a movie that will challenge and encourage me to think deeper and to understand others more.
Will you join me? Comment below to tell me about your favorite movies or movie traditions.