Thursday, March 23, 2017

Experiences vs. Presents - Beauty and the Beast

Experiences vs presents - Beauty and the Beast
Last week I pinched a nerve in my back and so have had more time laying in bed (or limping around) than ever before! It has been a real struggle for me (mentally) but I am so thankful for my mom and the Mr. for basically taking over everything and making it possible for me to recover as quickly as possible.

Since the doctor's order was to rest and do nothing I got to thinking... which is never good (as the Mr. would say). I thought about a variety of different vacations we could take, renovations we should do, cars we could buy, blog posts I could write and that brought me here...

The same weekend Beauty and the Beast (real people version as my parents would call a non-animated film) was released I had all this time to think. Although I deeply wanted to see the movie on its opening weekend it just wasn't possible for me to expect to be comfortable in a movie theatre given my situation. So I started thinking about when the original animated film was released in 1991. I was 6 and burning with anticipation to see this movie. Finally, there was going to be a princess with dark brown hair and green eyes - just like me!

I will never forget it... my mom brought me to the drive-in movie theatre (Dad might have been there as well...), which in itself was a huge treat. I didn't know what movie we were going to see, but I was excited to be at the drive-in! It was such a grown-up thing to do and after-all, I was 6 (maybe 7...I can't remember exactly when we went). We had all of our movie snacks, blankets and pillows in the back seat with the front seats laid back so we had the best view possible. Just before the movie began Mom tuned into the specified radio station so we could hear the movie on the car stereo system and then, it started!

The magical music of the opening scene where you feel as though you are travelling through an enchanted forest until finally the trees open up and you're told the story of how the prince became the Beast still gives me chills just thinking about it. Then, we meet her - Belle! She sings and ends up in fields that almost remind you of scenes from The Sound of Music. The story, the scenery, the music, the characters - everything about this movie is simply enchanting.

Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite movie ever since - I have been "Belle" for Halloween, collected Beauty and the Beast souvenirs throughout my childhood and even skated to music from the soundtrack as a teenager.
Experiences vs presents - Beauty and the Beast

And even though I still love the movie and can't wait to see the "real people version" it's not the movie that makes the memory so special. The experience my parents created for me was magical. When I think of the movie I think of that first time I saw it at the drive-in movie theater and how excited I was - it's a feeling of pure joy.

Now as a mom, reflecting on this childhood memory, I can only hope to create lasting memories and experiences for our Little Dude similar to this. My key take-a-way from this experience is that I have no idea what I received for Christmas or for my birthday that year, but I vividly remember this experience and how it made me feel. For every Mom and Dad trying to make sure you buy the "best" or "enough", keep this in mind.... make your children feel special, loved and valued; those gifts will last a lifetime.
Experiences vs presents - Beauty and the Beast
My shoes for that: Disney Princess Flip Flops


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