A Whole New World, A Whole New Light

So… I cried during the new release of Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake.
This did not come as much of a surprise to my kids (and truthfully, not much to me, either). We’ve all rather come to expect this type of behavior from me as par for the course. There’s not a sports ceremony, dance recital, class presentation, hardly even a Saturday morning cartoon that I’m likely to get through without shedding a tear.

But even I didn’t prepare enough tissue for the waterworks brought on by this experience. And now that I’ve finally been able to regain composure of my heaving shoulders, I can reflect and conclude that it was probably a combination of triggers that set me off. Though I wouldn’t describe the film as an emotional tear-jerker, it was indeed a “feel good” movie, and a very well-done one at that. In fact, I would have to say this one now tops the list as my favorite of all the Disney live-action remakes that have been released so far. And after the slight let-down over the recent Dumbo remake, I was first and foremost reveling in a delightful movie. But along with that, watching this movie helped recall just how integral a role the original Disney 1992 animated version played in my childhood, and the resulting cascade of invoked memories brought a surge of chills to my arms.

The day the VHS was released, my father brought home a copy for me that I then proceeded to watch Every**Single**Day for what was probably the entire next year of my life. But even before that, I can still vividly recall the theatrical release and how overjoyed I was to unexpectedly find myself in the darkened theater, just me and my Daddy, sharing a popcorn on a surprise movie date he had sprung on me only moments before. It was just a regular afternoon matinee, a simple gesture that probably he didn’t even see as that big of a deal. But it was. To me. Because to this very day I can still remember clearly just how safe, how special, how so loved I felt, all in the space of that that one 90 minute movie.

And now, all these years later, I found myself right back in the theater watching Aladdin all over again, this time with my own wee little one by my side. And though it wasn’t his first theater experience, it was the first time in which it was just me and him. Because after viewing the television trailer, he literally turned to me and said “I want to see that movie! Just Mommy and just Baby”. And so of course I just died! I scooped him up and covered him in kisses, and if it hadn’t already been 10 pm on work/school night, I promise I would have bought all the M&Ms ever made and taken him to see it right that very minute. But eventually the weekend came, and for once, there was finally nothing to do but indulge.

The past few months have been such a whirlwind that we’ve barely had any family downtime at all, much less any special one-on-ones. To walk into this theater holding Baby’s hand was truly something special, made all the better knowing his beloved BruhBruh and Sissy were still getting to enjoy the event as well, both of them off on their own separate first official “movies-with-friends” outing.

To finally have a moment to relax, a moment to simply be present, and to do so all the while with my last and final baby curled tight in my lap…I grew overwhelmed with the feelings of being abundantly blessed and grateful. .
So yes, though I cried on top of his head for 2/3rds of the movie’s running time, it was only because I was thoroughly enjoying 100% of it all. Thank you Disney for yet another great movie, for yet another great memory in my life.

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