Thoughts: Star Wars – The Force Awakens (No Spoilers!)

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensYesterday was Opening Day for the seventh film in the Star Wars saga, and I was fortunate to be able to take my 13 year old son to see it. The Lux style (Hoyt’s version of Gold Class). I wanted to create a memory for him that lasts long.

Let me explain.

I saw the original Star Wars in the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North when it was released. I’m not entirely proud of how I got to see it, but I got to see it.

Oh OK. Here’s the story. If you insist.

I really really really wanted to see it but my parents were quite frugal (Dad was a teacher, Mum was a relief teacher (both at PNBHS) and they were raising four kids) so my going to see it was out of the question according to them. ANYWAY, I learned that my sister had been invited to a friends 7th birthday party – and the horde of girls was going to see Star Wars!!! Girls??? Star Wars??? And NOT me??? I rather suspect I threw my toys. Just a little bit. Long story short, I got to see Star Wars. And that fact transcended the fact I was at a 7 yr old girls birthday party.

I remember it vividly. I remember the Tangy Fruits in plastic pottles. I remember walking out of the theatre on its red carpet feeling like I was walking on air. And the memory of seeing the banner stretched across the hallway with ‘May The Force Be With You’ is seared in my mind.

So yesterday was a re-living. Another generation experiencing Star Wars on release in the cinema!


We were so excited.

I picked my son up a couple of hours before screening time thinking we’d wander the shops a bit, look for Christmas gifts, yarn, fill in time. Well – THAT idea went out the window pretty quick. Neither of us could concentrate. We were twitchy, fidgety and restless all at the same time.


My son has been nervous about this movie since it was announced. Years ago. He’s been “I hope Abrams doesn’t stuff it up” since he was 11. (He didn’t actually know who JJ Abrams was at the time). He loves these movies so much and has become the go-to kid at school on all things Star Wars. I’m not sure I should be proud, but at least he gets out in the sun and plays some sports…

Finally, the time came. We were escorted to our seats.


The coke and popcorn and wine arrived, the 3D glasses were put on, the lights went down and then…


We were not disappointed. A stupid, silly, happy grin has been on both our faces for the last 24 hours. Do go see this movie. It’s terrific!



Thoughts: End of the Year, and Prizegivings

It’s that time of year which I’m pretty certain most parents dread.

Not only are the days longer, and the humidity is dialed up to hair-raising levels but the kids are tired. They’re over school. And they have to endure just a few more days…

A few more days. Bookended by an apparently endless list of prizegivings. Every activity, every class, dragging in family and friends to celebrate the success (or not) of the year.

I’ve attended two so far. Happily the minor ones are during school time and I haven’t been able to attend 100%… I don’t really feel bad about that.

My kids attend a church-based school. Their prizegiving was full of wide-eyed optimism, hope and God. Thankfully, it was also highly efficient.

In a church-based school prizegiving there is a lot of singing, always involving the attendees. With hands in the air, and/or bouncing and clapping. The school provided the musicians and again, the optimism came to the fore. Front and centre. It’s not a bad thing I guess. However, I do struggle being completely positive about things when it seems that the concept of learning to tune your instruments before playing has been bypassed. A few sighs. A few winces of aural pain. I survived.

Making it about my kids, they both got prizes. They’ve had a good year. I do worry about this sort of thing as being in a family dynamic that is no longer your traditional ‘mum, dad and the kids’ could be problematic for them. Not many of their peers have divorced parents. Miserable parents, yes, but not divorced.

Then the joy of my daughters gymnastics end-of-year event. What a steaming pile of disorganization that was! 

There was a display. Little people running, jumping, rolling, flipping and posing.

Then my daughter got a prize (yes, I’m somewhat surprised!). Then for the next 1hr 20mins it went something like this:

Display ( running, jumping, rolling, flipping, posing)


Display (running, jumping, rolling, flipping, posing)


Display (running, jumping, rolling, flipping, posing)

Coaches giving themselves prizes, wine and general back-slapping

Display (running, jumping, rolling, flipping, posing)

In short, it was excruciating.

Still, my girl got a prize. So I’m ok with this!

Hopefully I’ve checked my calendar correctly and I have no more to endure. 

Love my kids, can’t stand bad events.