Tomorrow is my birthday and my son thought it would be fun tonight to go and see the new Toy Story 3 movie--just the two of us. I thought it was a great idea and was glad my son had thought of it. We had seen the original Toy Story movie together when he was only three years old, then later Toy Story 2 when he was seven. I never stopped to think of the irony of it (or the emotional ramifications) of seeing this movie until we were at the theater.
My son turned to me as we were walking into the theater and said "This movie came out when I was just a little kid, then we saw the second one when I was a little older and now we're going to see the last one just when my childhood is ending. How weird is that?"
Yeah....how weird is that?........(gulp)
I knew I was in trouble when the movie had barely started and there were flashbacks into Andy's life of him playing with his toys as a little boy. As I was watching that, it dawned on me that I had seen my own son playing like that with his Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys as a child. (Yes, he also wrote his name in permanent marker on the bottom of each of their boots and he still has those toys.) As my eyes started to well up with tears I knew this viewing with my son was going to be different than other movies we'd seen recently.
Thankfully the movie (I won't go into detail for those of you who haven't seen it yet) doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the part of Andy going off to college and leaving his toys (and childhood) behind, or I probably wouldn't have made it through the movie. It's mostly about the adventure of the toys themselves. But near the end, when there was a scene of his mother walking into his empty room right before he left for college, I pretty much almost lost it.
I can't tell you (seriously, I'm sitting here trying to think of the right words to describe this) just how special (ugh, not the right word!) it was to be able to see this movie with my son, only a few weeks after he graduated high school and one week before his eighteenth birthday. It may sound silly, but I honestly won't ever forget sharing that little moment in time with him. When the movie ended and the credits started rolling, the two of us just sat there kind of taking it all in. (I even caught my son rubbing his eyes a little.) I'm sure from my son's point of view it was more about it being a sentimental ending to a movie. To me though, it was the sentimental end to an era in my son's life.