I woke up Friday with actual work to do! I had a media presentation to take to a freelance client! And that’s exactly what I spent the morning doing: putting the finishing touches on a PowerPoint presentation for an 11am meeting. Sometimes, it feels good to have work to do, even if the challenge of being an Independent Consultant is bigger than I expected. (It isn’t the work. It’s the administration.)
In the afternoon though, I had a more important meeting: a movie date with Ben. I used a special offer on Fandango.com, and bought 2-for-1 tickets for us to see “Dolphin Tale” in the afternoon. Ben asked to see the movie when he saw a trailer for it at Winnie the Pooh this summer. Since he seems to love anything to do with marine mammals, I decided to take him. I know it’s a movie geared more towards bigger kids, but Ben will sit through anything on a moving screen. Even if he didn’t understand 100% of the narrative, he understood the plot from the trailer: the dolphin was hurt, and needed a new tail. And he was so happy about seeing it that when I picked him up, he announced it to every one of his teachers. “We’re going to see the dolphin movie!”, he said, each time we said goodbye to someone.
And for the most part, he seemed to really like the movie. I know he didn’t get the entire movie, because part of it is about the financial hardship of the marina, and the threat to Winter, the dolphin, as a result. And he didn’t get that the dolphin needed a tail specifically because she was trying to swim side to side, like an eel, after the tail amputation, and it was hurting her spinal column. But he DID get that the dolphin was hurt and needed a new tail. And he got that the little boy in the movie was bonding with the dolphin. And I explained to him that the dolphin was important because she was just like other kids that had lost their legs, who had to learn how to walk or play with new mechanical legs, just like the dolphin had to learn to swim with her new tail. I don’t know how much of that registered, or how much of the wounded war vet storyline sunk in, but he said it was a good movie, and for Ben, that’s all that matters.
Taking Ben to the movies is always a challenge. There’s only so many Pixar-type films a year, and I don’t like taking Ben to a movie just because it’s a cartoon. We’re trying to find him live action movies that are kid-friendly, but not completely retarded (like, say, the talking puppy movies that Disney runs trailers for on all Ben’s DVDs). Dolphin Tale was not only somewhat educational, but also far LESS hokey than I expected. It also opens up the Documentary World to us a bit more, to get Ben used to movies that don’t have talking animals, special effects, and aren’t the Lowest Common Denominator. And besides, I’m proud of Ben – not a lot of three year olds can sit through a whole movie, especially not one that isn’t Cars 2
But after all that excitement on Friday, I fell asleep at 9pm. Even unemployed, I’m still exhausted at the end of the day. Maybe it’s just a regenerating process, because I take naps, only work maybe three or four hours a day, and don’t really do that much to wear myself out. Maybe it’s just because I know, at 6:45, I will hear a series of little footsteps that end in our door opening, and a small boy climbing in bed with us for about two minutes until he asks if we’ll go play with him.