Tag Archives: Movies

My Life Resembles a Movie…Groundhog Day

“I don’t hear any brushing!” I yell as I come up the stairs.

Every morning while the kids yammer on about who won the game last night or whether they have art today, we rush them along through breakfast, then herd them upstairs to brush their teeth. I think they’re finally making progress only to be assured of my stupidity with shouts and giggles. I come upstairs to find my daughter at the sink while my son lies on the floor yanking her feet. Shouts and giggles echo down the hall.

I order my son to get his books, socks, and glasses while she brushes. Five minutes later, he is rolling around on the floor and still isn’t ready. “What have you been doing? Get ready for school. We do this every day.”

I could understand them having trouble getting the hang of this if it were a choreographed Broadway routine, but none of this is new. Yet every day we say the same tired things.

We are stuck in some bizarre time loop where everything happens over and over again. “It’s like the movie Groundhog Day,” my husband observed the other night. We are reliving the same day every single day.

It’s hard to get through the monotony of regular life. Days become routine because we follow a schedule: school, homework, play, dinner, more play, bed. It’s not a tough schedule to learn, even if we break it for a night for sports. I’m not sure why after so many years my kids can’t figure out that after breakfast comes brushing teeth, not rolling around on the floor. When has that ever been in the schedule?

After school the kids have boundless energy. They come home in a whirlwind and drop their mess in front of the door. Brother annoys sister during homework by drawing pencil marks on her paper or singing. “Stop it!” she yells constantly. I referee while trying to balance chopping veggies and helping with math. We do this every day.chop

Hours later, bedtime ritual craziness begins. “Mom, I’m ready for bed.”

I go into my daughter’s room to find her not in pajamas and her clean clothes not put away. No outfit has been laid out for tomorrow.

“Dad, I’m ready for bed.”

My husband is telling my son to clear the books off his bed and put his clothes away. “Have you brushed your teeth?” he says.

My husband and I go back to our room and read. We wait. Yells and giggles come from the bathroom. “I don’t hear any brushing!” I shout.

My son slowly walks by our bedroom door numerous times doing a stupid dance. “Get ready,” I say, unimpressed.

When it appears my son is ready, he has forgotten his book or his glasses or to go to the bathroom. Why can’t they get this right? We do the same thing every night.

Before bed comes brushing teeth, then books. Again, no surprises. I’ve never told them, “Hey, go jump on the bed for 20 minutes and get those wiggles out.”

The next morning, my son wants to know who won the game. After breakfast, the kids race upstairs to brush their teeth. Shouts and giggles echo down the hall. “I don’t hear any brushing!” I yell as I come up the stairs.

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It Is a Wonderful Life

Twenty-five years ago I sat in an itchy brown chair in a brown paneled den, flipping through channels to escape the heat of a scorching summer day. I landed on a black-and-white movie that was just beginning, though I didn’t catch the name. Several minutes in, I was hooked.

Some kids were using shovels to sled down a hill, and one of them went too far and plunged into icy water. I had to see what happened next. I was instantly captivated by the scene’s hero, George Bailey. The movie turned out to be It’s a Wonderful Life. It also turned out to be my all-time favorite. Ever.

I can’t think of a movie that I have loved as long or that speaks to me as this movie has. Even then, as an awkward sixth-grader, wondering when boys would ever notice me (and they didn’t for many, many years) and dealing with friendship woes and other social plagues, I could see how life can get the better of you. I could see how a person who has so much doesn’t see the difference he makes every day, and how attitude and loved ones can pull you through life’s rough patches.

I spent an entire afternoon in that chair, running to the bathroom between commercial breaks or bolting to the kitchen for a bag of chips. I didn’t want to miss a second.

I pulled for George Bailey. I learned that sometimes life doesn’t turn out like you expect it to, but you roll with it and make the best of it, just like George Bailey did. He didn’t have much. But he had so much. The gift of family and friends, happiness and good health, and doing good for others. Wealth can’t buy any of that. It didn’t for Mr. Potter.

Each year, when George Bailey sees what a good life he has and runs through the snow-covered streets, I’m there, yelling, “Merry Christmas, George Bailey!” through teary eyes and a lump in my throat because it still moves me. Every year, this movie is a reminder that I have everything I need.

It is a wonderful life. Your family and friends are your riches, and life is what you make of it. That’s what a sixth grader learned on a hot summer day. Merry Christmas, George Bailey.

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