These Are The Moments to Remember

July 5th, 2009 by Jules Leave a reply »
Earlier this evening I had a wonderful dialogue with my oldest and I had thought I would blog about it as in my mind it fell under the category of moments to remember. The conversation was only a few sentences but was quite profound. It was yet another one of those moments where I stopped the million thoughts going on inside of my brain and took the time to take a mental snapshot. One of those moments that I would cherish forever. One of those moments where I knew that no matter what choices he may make, he is going to survive the “joys” of puberty in one piece. This conversation took place as we were getting ready to watch Stand By Me.

I sit down with my boys an a regular basis and we watch the movie as a unit. Stand By Me has always been in my top 5 favourite movies of all time. I fell in love with it when I saw it for the first time when I was 10 in 1986. As I “grew up”, it continued to be one of those movies that I knew I would always love. The older I became, the more I appreciated the movie. When I was a teenager I said to myself, “Self when you have children you must share this movie with your own children and share it often.” And that is what I do. At least twice a year, since my boys were small it has been part of our family movie collection. It has always been one of their favourite movies and it is wonderful to watch the new things that they appreciate in the movie as they “grow up” themselves. Tonight was one of those nights where I wanted to share these experiences with my boys. So I ordered Stand By Me on Video On Demand. The conversations that occured during this viewing (now that my boys are 10 and almost 14) were amazing.

I was quite surprised that my youngest didn’t remember a good bulk of the movie since we do watch it so often. Most of it was as if he was watching it for the first time. He remembered the barforama and he remembered bits and pieces of the leech scene (only because of my conversation with Wil Wheaton on that part of the movie) but other than that, it was a very fresh experience for him. When I had first informed him that we were going to watch Stand By Me once his brother got home his reaction was, “Yes! Its a Stephen King movie and I love Stephen King!” (he wants to be the next Stephen King). I told him, “You realize it is not a horror movie don’t you?” He of course realized it but it didn’t matter as it was Stephen King. He now has an appreciation for the movie that is not Stephen King related.

My oldest being at “that” age pretended that he was neutral about the situation. Man, do I ever remember that age! The age of fake apathy when in truth your insides are bubbling over with emotion but you pretend to be too cool for school. He had phoned home earlier that evening to see if he could stay out past curfew. I had told him no because I had planned a family evening once he got home. I told him that we were going to watch Stand By Me and asked how he felt about the plans. You could hear the shrugging of shoulders through the phone as the ever popular words “meh” and “whatever” came out of his mouth. When it came time to sit down and watch the movie however, the pod people released my child even if it was only for an hour and a half and his true feelings were allowed to surface.

Here are some of my favourite moments that took place as we watched the movie each with our own “growing up” eyes:

Anytime a song came up both the boys would start singing it very loudly. “Lollipop” being the loudest and with the most enthusiasm. My youngest could not believe that those songs were 50 years old and that they are still popular. At least to him they are to the point where he has them on his mp3 player. My oldest made the comment that the music from “back then” was great. Both of them made comments about how that music will always be good music. My oldest further elaborated, “Back then music was actually music. Now there is too much crap put out and most of it does not have substance anymore.” I found myself thinking as they are doing their banter on music, “wow I cannot believe I am having this conversation with my boys while they are only 10 and 14.” It brings me more joy than I could ever explain that they share my love of music. We can sit down and talk about music appreciation and the merits of music within its specific genre. I sometimes question my youngest’s musical tastes. My oldest and I are very similiar when it comes to what we personally look for in music. We prefer music with substance, music that we can relate to on some emotional and mental level regardless of genre or era. My youngest takes after his dad and his favourite artists are AC/DC, KISS, etc. *moans*.

My youngest enjoyed the Teddy Duchamp character the most. He found it so cool when he was trying to dodge the train and just how lippy he is. My oldest relates more to the Chris Chambers character. That of the misunderstood, sensitive soul. Despite the differences between what character speaks to them the most at their current stage in life, they both related to the scene where the junkyard guy was bashing Teddy’s dad. My oldest said, “If anyone spoke to me that way about my parents, I would punch them in the face right through the fence!” My youngest said, “Nobody would be able to drag me away if someone talked to me like that!” To which my oldest added, “Trust me, if you had three friends that really cared for you, they would drag you away even if it took all of their strength. Because even if you are justified in punching the ass in the face, in the end they are protecting you.”

My oldest found it amusing that kids today still do the “two for flinching”. He said he is lucky that his friends don’t do it to him otherwise he would be getting punched more often than Vern. My youngest said, “Wow they are good at insulting each other. I need to remember those for when my friends and I insult each other.”

One of the funniest comments came from my youngest when the four characters were sitting around the fire. He looks at me and says, “And to think, when Wil Wheaton was that age he had no idea that he would one day get to talk to you when he grew up.” As if speaking to me was something that Wil Wheaton dreamed about since he was a little boy. I laughed hard on the inside, chuckled on the outside and said, “Honey, Wil Wheaton had no idea who I was at that age unlike me knowing who he was.” What makes this story even more amusing is that my sister and I were talking about my interview with Wil the other week. She laughed hard when I brought up the fan club picture of Wil during the interview and how she remembers me believing that it was actually Wil that wrote me a personal letter on the back of that picture. She then went on to say, “Despite what we may or may not have believed back then when you received that picture, if someone had told you when you were 11 that you would one day speak to Wil Wheaton, you would never have believed that. And it happened. That is cool! Even so you reasons for wanting to talk to him have changed, the fact that you have always wanted to talk to him since you were 10 has not.” So for my son to see it in reverse is highly amusing to me. He sees me a lot differently than I see myself.

It was fun to see the differences of how my children recognized other actors from the movie. When Kiefer made his first appearance, my oldest asked, “What other
things has he been in mom?” I replied, “You probably know him from 24.” He in turn, “Does he play Jack?” I nodded. Then my youngest pipes up with great enthusiasm as if he just came to the greatest realization in life, “Wasn’t he in The Lost Boys?!?! He played that really cool and mean vampire didn’t he mom?!” I smiled at the difference in associations and nodded.

Watching the leech scene was uber awesome! The look on my youngest’s face as Gordie is pulling the leech out of his underwear was priceless! My oldest said that there is not enough money in the world to pay him to put a real leech in his underwear and that Wil was indeed brave for doing it.

In the ending scene as adult Gordie was writing his book my oldest pipes up, “Can people really make money doing that?” Even so I thought I knew what “that” meant I asked, “What do you mean?” He confirmed my thoughts by replying, “Writing stories about your life and childhood.” I smiled and said, “Yes they can. In fact that is one of the ways that Wil makes money today.” If only you could have seen his face. This look of really understanding how art has imitated life in this movie. However, the only words he had on the subject was (and this is one of his most common phrases to come out of him), “That’s… that’s interesting.”

Now there were many other moments that I could share that were beyond awesome as I shared this movie yet again with my boys. To date, this has been the best sharing experience of this movie with my boys. However, I would be writing for days and just want to share one final thing on tonight’s experience. This final moment was the biggest WOW this is an amazing experience and I am overjoyed that I was a part of it. That my oldest allowed me to be a part of it. So much so I said after we were done, “I know you don’t think its cool when I talk about you but I really need to share this.” He looked at me as if I had two heads, shrugged his shoulders with a thunderous crack which told me the pod people had returned and said “whatever”.

At the end of the movie the adult Gordie narrates, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” To which my oldest says, “Even so I am just starting my teen years, I know that the friends I have now will be the most important friends that I will ever have.” However, even before this..

The adult Gordie says something along the lines of, “We’d only been gone two days, but somehow the town seemed smaller. Different.” To which my oldest says, “That is because you can do a lot of growing up in just two days.” My youngest replied, “Really?” And my oldest answered, “Yes. When you get older you will realize just how much life can change forever in just two days.”

From the mouthes of babes. THESE are the moment to remember.





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