Movie Night

Literature and common sense tells us that when we raise our kids overseas, there are some important things we as parents can do to help them feel a sense of "home" and family.  Maggie and Ben (etc) will definitely be Third Culture Kids, meaning kids who grow up in a culture that is not their parents' culture, and yet they will be different than the kids growing up in their new culture (e.g. Burundian kids).  Because of this, there can be some potential identity issues.  So, one thing we can do as parents is to form family traditions.  This often shows up at times like the holidays.  Every year we...fill in the blank (decorate the tree, hang stockings, eat a certain kind of cookie, etc).  Or, every night we have family devotions.  Or some such thing.

Well, one thing I remember from my childhood was Sunday night movie night.  This may or may not have happened quite as often as I remember it happening, but in my mind, every Sunday night we as a family would gather around the TV to watch Wonderful World of Disney and eat popcorn/fruit/cheese for dinner on a picnic blanket.  And who says 3 and 1 yr olds are too young to start watching weekly movies? :)

So for the past 3 months or so, almost every Sunday night we have had movie and popcorn night for dinner. We started with the Sound of Music (it took us 3 wks since we only watch about an hour at a time), and followed it up with the Incredibles, Nemo, Ratatouille (right before our Paris vacation), Cars, Kung Fu Panda, and Bolt, among a few others.  The kids have LOVED it!  It's also been interesting for Eric and me to figure out what kind of movies are appropriate for our sensitive almost 4 yr old daughter...most Disney movies are actually too scary for her at this stage (the above picture was taken during a more "intense" scene in Finding Nemo--she is very sober and we had to continually encourage her that the shark does NOT eat Nemo's daddy and everything WILL be ok!).

It's also been fun for me not to have to plan this meal every week...microwave popcorn is usually found at one of the grocery stores in town, cut up some cheese and fruit, and voila!  It can't be that unhealthy, right? :)  We're hoping to keep the tradition going in Burundi, although we might have to get creative with movies to watch since there is no Wonderful World of Disney every week.  I think back to my favorites from childhood...Annie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Parent Trap, Pollyanna, etc...and hope that someday we can get a chance to enjoy these classics.


Anonymous said...

this is a great idea! also, ben's curls are too sweet...and eric has the most sobering look of everyone!

The Drs. McLaughlin said...