We were finishing dinner when my husband turned on the TV. "Amanda, I think that I'm going to impose family movie night," he announced.
Amanda (and I) love family movie night: turning down the lights, having special snacks, and sharing a movie together. When Terry -- who is not really a fan of family movie night -- announced this plan, we were both surprised.
Amanda also knew that if he was "imposing" the activity, it would probably be a movie that she didn't think she'd like. I often convince her to give certain books and movies a try (and Mama is usually right on target), so it seemed that Dad was following in my footsteps. As the ending credits of another movie rolled, we tried to guess what he had in mind.
"Star Wars?" I guessed, incorrectly.
"Madagascar?" Amanda tried.
Then, the movie started. A black screen and a distinctive font with "Random Production Company Presents," and I yelled out, "Father of the Bride"!! Yes, I guessed a movie from the font.
"Amanda this is a movie about a Daddy who loves his daughter," Terry explained (with uncharacteristic sentimentality).
"Do I have to watch it?" she asked.
We all snuggled up on the sofa. I had the remote in my hand to mute the one questionable line that I remembered from this PG-rated movie. Steve Martin tells his daughter and her fiancee, "Don't forget to buckle your cond*m -- um, seat belt! I mean seat belt!"
Amanda loved it. Terry and I loved it too. It's definitely on my top-10 list of movies.
More than just enjoying the movie, it reminded me of my own movie-dates with my dad. My parents divorced when I was nine-years-old, and by the time I was Amanda's age, or perhaps a bit older, one of the way we filled our time together was seeing movies.
There were typical family-friendly movies like Empire Strikes Back and Superman, but others such as The Coal Miner's Daughter and The Color Purple. I was fifteen when that one came out, but I remember we both thought that was a pretty grown-up "date."
I wonder if Amanda will remember this movie as a step towards growing up. If she'll remember this glimpse into the future when she'll get married and leave us for another man. I know I will.