This morning I was talking to my dad on the phone. We were conspiring about my mom’s Christmas gift and when we finished the conversation my dad said, “Thank you Sweetheart!” 46 years old and my Daddy calls me sweetheart and baby still.
And I like it.
After we hung up, my memory took me back for a flash of Dad helping me get my winter coat on so we could go see Mary Poppins at the movie house in Yellowknife, NWT (for the uninitiated, that is in Canada’s Arctic).
Things I remember about that day include singing the songs from the movie, walking past the town’s only parking meter, sitting in the damp movie theatre beside my Dad and my brother and visualizing myself as Mary Poppins.
My dad didn’t take me to as many movies as my mom did. But he did come with us to the “last day of school’ movies. We saw Superman, Goonies, Indiana Jones, Silverado, The Right Stuff, and countless other action/adventure movies with my dad and mom. I am not sure, but in my memory Mary Poppins was our first “last day of school” movie. I was in grade 1 and my dad finished his very first year of teaching. He was the local grad 5 teachers, so we had plenty to celebrate. AND we were driving from Yellowknife to Disneyland later that summer. For the record the drive is 4302 km. With me 6, my ADHD brother 4, and my aunt 12, in the back seat.
We saw a lot of cool and interesting things that summer but what stuck with me were two things:
1. Sitting on Main Street Watching the Electrical Parade right in front of the emporium. My mom came out of the shop with what are now ‘vintage’ Mickey Mouse Sweatshirts – but at the time they were ‘new’.
2. Memories of the Mary Poppins movie.
We sang every song a million times on our drive to Disneyland. Singing in the car was always a huge pastime. I suspect it is why I know the lyrics to every song written before 1990.
Everything about that summer was magic for me. From visiting my Grandma in Sherwood Park before leaving to Disneyland – to driving through a giant redwood tree that was on the way.
This Friday is the “last day of School” celebration for Christmas. Saving Mr. Banks is on the menu for me. I am dragging my family to it because of the significance of Walt Disney and Mary Poppins in my life and because it was so important to me, my kids know everything about it and have become massive Disney fans in their own right.
I love walking around Disneyland tell stories of the place of when I was a kid. Showing them where Skull Rock was located, telling stories of the Short Cut to Space Mountain before it became a backstage area – or maybe it was then but my brother and I went that way anyways to be first in line. Then my children ask me to tell them stories of their first visit, like when The Boy whispered secrets into Pooh Bear’s ear or when Chatterbox wore the Mickey Ears that caused seizers from the constant flashing. We have been enough times to have a million memories of our own.
Just the way I like it.
But I also value the memories of Dad singing Bert’s part and my singing Mary’s part.
I can’t wait for Friday…and Christmas because I asked for the 50th Anniversary Mary Poppins edition.
My days have been loaded with fun and anticipation. This 365 Days of Awesome has been awesome so far.