Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Odd (Beautiful, Magical, Amazing, Joyful ) Life Of...

Peanut -

Earlier this week Momma watched "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." A movie that got panned by critics as too sentimental. Too shallow. Too traditional. I disagree. Honestly, it seems to me that very few people can truly relate to the movie's underlying beauty and message. 

In a nutshell, here is the storyline: 

The film is told from the perspective of Cindy and Jim Green, as they explain their experience with Timothy in an effort to persuade an adoption agency to allow the couple to adopt a child.

When Cindy and Jim learn that they are not able to have children, they spend one final evening imagining what their child would have been like (a name of Timothy, talented artist, a big heart, honest to a fault, etc.). They put all those qualities in a box and bury it in their garden in their effort to "move on." But unusual things happen that night - a huge storm rains only on their house and a little boy named Timothy (with leaves growing out of his ankles) shows up in their house, muddy and naked.

He immediately calls them Mom and Dad and, after realizing that he is a magical gift from the garden, they welcome him and the challenges of parenthood, learning along the way.

Unbeknownst to his parents, one of Timothy's leaves falls off each time he fulfills one of the qualities listed on the original slips of paper. Timothy eventually reveals to Cindy and Jim that his time on earth is short and that he will eventually disappear.

The Greens' meeting with the adoption counselor concludes with Cindy presenting a letter that Timothy left them before leaving. In the letter, he explains to them what he did with each of his leaves that fell off, with a montage sequence showing each person whose life Timothy touched. (Spoiler: After an unspecified amount of time, the adoption counselor is shown pulling up to the Greens' house in a car with the little girl who is to become the Greens' daughter.)

Peanut, this movie was hard to watch.  Really hard.  Momma had no clue what she was getting into when it started, and once it became clear what was going to happen, I couldn't tear myself away.  Throughout the movie my brain kept replacing "Timothy" with "Peanut."  

While the boy in the movie magically appears from a garden at the age of 10 - magical, mysterious, odd - there was so much about his joy, love, and exuberance that reminded me of you and what you brought to us.  Your constant, tight Peanut hugs.  Your love of kisses.  Your head-thrown-back laugh.  Your toothy smile and unsteady, wobbly-fast walk.  Your love of peas, carrots, steak, cheese and homemade meatballs.  Your enjoyment of "One Fish, Two Fish" and riding your firetruck.  Your anticipation of bath-time, snuggles, and "Guess How Much I Love You."

The message at the end of this movie was essentially this: Timothy revealed to the Greens what amazing parents they could be, and they must do everything possible to fulfill that dream.

You did that for us.  You helped Momma and Dadda realize that we are great parents, and together, with your love and blessing, we needed to be parents - again.

This movie helped Momma process some of the recent guilt that's been building in her heart.  Guilt over the total, complete joy that finds its way into my heart when The Pickle does something totally new and brilliant - like string multiple words together into a coherent sentence, or help put away his toys and dishes, or show Momma the sign language to an entire song.  Things we never got to see you do or learn.

It helped reveal to Momma that maybe, just maybe, you are watching all these events from heaven and grinning from ear-to-ear.  Cheering on your little brother.  Acting as an angel on his shoulder...and on our shoulders too.

Peanut, I still can't believe you're gone.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself - am I really awake?  How can it be that our little boy, who should be close to turning 4, is no longer in my arms?  How can it be that we've been without him longer than we were with him?  How can it be that his little brother has now out-survived his time on earth?  Shouldn't we be in the midst of back-to-school shopping?

We live to make you proud.  To let you know that we received your messages while you were here on earth, and we continue to hear and honor them:
Love unconditionally.  
Give super tight hugs freely.  
Laugh with reckless abandon.  
Dance, dance, dance!  
Heads bumps and butterfly kisses are essential.  
And, try every food at least once.

Oh, I miss you so much.  I miss your cautious approach to new things.  I miss your long, delicate fingers that loved to trace my hands, face, eyelashes.   I miss your blue, ocean-deep eyes.  I miss your eyebrow-raises that rival Momma's.  

I just miss you.

Sending you love, hugs and kisses to the heavens.  To the stars.  To the moon - and back!

- Momma

Yep - he learned that one-eyebrow trick from me.

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