Tonight, I got to see White Christmas on the big screen.
Last year, I went with some single friends, and it was a good time.
This year, I took Cili with me. And it was... well... perfect.
I so love that kid!
C's such a funny, sassy, musical-loving kid. When I saw that White Christmas was the classic movie for this week, I knew she's who I should see it with this year. And I'm so glad that I did.
She was suitably impressed that I know the movie well enough to talk along with the dialogue...
"When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting whatever it is you've got left."
And the ever popular,
"Well, I like that. Without so much as a 'kiss my foot!' or 'have an apple!'".
"In some ways, you're far superior to my cocker spaniel."
But I digress.
Towards the end of the movie, as I was basking in the glory that is White Christmas (it was the final scene when they do the dinner and everyone's in uniform), I had a memory rush in of the year that Santa brought the VHS tape and a giant bag of Cheetos. (I think I was 15.) After everyone else went back to bed, my mom and I sat down on the brown couch in the family room, with the bag of Cheetos between us, and cried and sang and laughed and cried our way through the movie. (Those dang general scenes make me cry. Both in the beginning and at the end. Every time. For over 25 years.)
We'd been watching White Christmas for years, but only when it was on TV. We didn't own a copy of the movie until that year, and being able to sit down and watch it from beginning to end without commercials, just the two of us, with an unlimited supply of crunchy Cheetos... I remember that Christmas morning better than I remember most of them, because of the trifecta of awesomeness.
That Christmas morning was perfect.
Tonight, I took a 10 year old to see a movie with me. We had a giant tub of buttered popcorn to share (my one true love... even Cheetos have to take a backseat to buttered theater popcorn), more candy than any two girls should ever have access to at one time and two 32 oz Cokes. I quoted the movie, and sang my little heart out (and did a little chair dancing, as I am sometimes wont to do). C sat there next to me, sometimes laughing, sometimes staring straight ahead (I'm pretty sure my wild arm gestures to "Choreography" took her aback), and sometimes singing along (she knew every word to "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" - most impressive).
Just before Bing headed to NY to be on the Ed Harrison show, C leaned over and said she was going to fall asleep. (It was after 8:00 and she is a girl after my own heart, with her early bedtimes.) For maybe 5 minutes, she was drowsy... but then I whispered/sang my own special version of "Love", and she perked up.
By the beginning of that final scene, she was wide awake and happily singing along to the "Gee, I Wish I Was Back in The Army" song. We laughed and we sang, and I chair danced a little. And then, while Bing and Rosemary and Danny and Vera Ellen and Cili sang "White Christmas" and they threw the barn door open so everyone could see the snow, I just... sat there. Watching the movie, listening to my little ten year old friend sing along, and I realized... I was having a totally perfect moment.
Watching White Christmas.
But, this time, I was on the other end of that generational gap. Tonight, I was the grown up who was sharing a movie and some snacks with a kid that meant the world to her.
I love my life.
I love it.
I may not have children of my own to brainwash, but I do have children in my life. Cili's not my 10 year old, but tonight, I got to have a generational bonding experience with her.
I've always been grateful that Dean and Jo live so close, that I have so much access to them, to their family.
But tonight, I'm grateful on an entirely different level.
At this point in my life, the reality is that I know that I will never have my own biological children. ... Mind you, I'm not giving up hope that someday I'll marry a fabulous man who'll buy me some babies from an orphanage in a foreign country where they'll never think to check my health history before they release some kids to my care. I am not giving up on the dream of being a mom and raising kids. But the reality is that I live in a body that grows cancer, not babies. That ship has sailed... around the world, actually. Twice. ... But tonight, I had a flash of focus where I could actually see that I had passed on something I love to another generation.
I'm so grateful for that gift, for this sudden awareness that I have given Cili some of the same things that Judy gave me.
I'm so grateful that the Woods can see beyond all the potential damage I could do to their children, and they let me have an active role in their children's lives.
Tonight, I am grateful; for a movie I love, for the woman who taught me to love it, and for my friend who shares her children with me.
This may not be the circle of life that I expected, but it is the circle that I have... and I am infinitely grateful for what (and whom) I do have.
I'm grateful: For the perfect moments in my life, for movie musicals, and for the people I get to share both of those things with.