Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I want my children to love Valentine's Day although I know it's a long shot. I am in the minority of people who love and treasure this day. My hope is that both of my children find love in all aspects of their lives- a loving partner, faithful friends, adoring children someday. So in honor of love in all its many forms and the love Jack has for watching movies with his mom and dad, I thought I would present here:
The Top 5 Most Loving Movie Couples
5. Wall-E & EVE- A tribute to my sweet little Jack. Wall-E is currently one of his favorite movies. When EVE shuts down Jack looks at the screen and says "Uh-oh Wall-E". Somehow he knows that the loss of a love like that is reason to feel sad. And my little guy smiles ecstatically when they are reunited. When Wall-E and EVE go sailing across the sky behind a stream of fire extinguisher spray I feel as if I'm sailing with them buzzing with the glow of new found love.
4. Andy & Red- The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most beloved movies of all time. Interestingly enough, it lost the Best Picture Oscar in 1995 to Forrest Gump. If this movie came out this year I think it would shut out the competition. Times have changed in the past 18 years and things are a bit rougher than they were in the mid-90s. People need hope and they long for the type of friendship that Andy and Red share. What this movie couple shows me is that the greatest friendships are the ones that keep your hope alive- hope in the world, hope in humanity, hope in yourself. These are the friendships (minus the jail time) that I hope for my boys. I find I'm so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
3. Luke Skywalker & Yoda- This entry is clearly in honor of my darling geek husband and while I'm sure he'd have put Han and Leia on this list, I have to give props to Luke and Yoda even if theirs is a very non-traditional love story. You see, both Trevor and I are teachers. He works in a public school and I work in a corporate setting, but both of us take great pride in what we do. Teachers are often called heroes and so much of what a teacher does is heroic. But we are all the heroes of our own lives, our own stories. What if the teacher wasn't the hero? What if the student was the hero, the Luke Skywalker and the teacher was the Yoda, the guide who provides a tool or a way to remove an obstacle in order for the hero to achieve success? Luke: "I do not believe it." Yoda: "That is why you fail." Yoda sticks by Luke in the face of Luke's most adamant resistance in the same way teachers walk back into the classroom every single day in an act of love. Not necessarily for love of their students, but love of their communities and the promise that these students hold to shape them.
2. Carl & Ellie Frederick- Yes, another Pixar couple, but as Pixar makes up a large portion of my world these days, I have grown excessively fond of these characters. And it's true what they say- Pixar made a better love story in the first 15 minutes of Up than Twilight did in 5 full movies. What Carl and Ellie teach me is that life will throw us obstacles that will break our hearts in pieces. We can let life break us or we can find a new adventure. Carl learns this all over again after the loss of his wife plummets his world into a pretty dark place. It's through the love of Russell, a little Wilderness Explorer that he finds his way again. When he pins the Ellie badge on Russell's Wilderness Explorer sash I am helpless to hold back the tears.
1. Dumbo & Mama Jumbo- Mama Jumbo in her pink bonnet and blue shawl is the picture of maternal kindness and serenity. But when those boys bully her baby she is willing to take down an entire circus crew, ropes, whips and all to protect her boy. There is something so real and honest about that scene that speaks to the heart of every mother who knows that she won't always be there to protect her babies which only heightens her need to protect them while she can. And Dumbo speaks to every mother who sees her child as perfect despite flaws that only the rest of the world can see. When I sing "Baby Mine" to Jack at night, I notice that with each passing day it's harder to cradle him in my arms. His growing limbs dangle off the rocking chair and yet somehow we still manage to fit together. I marvel at the fact that he was once small enough to fit snugly inside of me, in the same place his brother now occupies. Time keeps moving forward, his limbs will keep growing longer and his desire to be rocked to sleep will someday wane. So I enjoy these moments while I have them.
When Valentine's Day comes each year, resist the urge to hate it, resent it, loathe it, or dismiss it. Because if we really look for it, love is all around us, in many forms, in many places, in many people and it's worth celebrating.