Everett’s ability to manage watching the television has drastically improved. He has even been requesting the return of back porch movies. I wrote about his previous television aversion here. It is just one of the many examples of how much progress he is making.
A few weeks ago, he asked to watch Coco. I love the Pixar movie Coco. It is my favorite animated movie. First, it is an absolutely beautiful movie both in a visual and musical sense. Second, the story does an amazing job of explaining The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). As a kid, we studied Day of the Dead in school, but it was presented in a way that felt creepy and a little weird. I never understood the beauty of the Day of the Dead and how it really was a celebration and reverence to those family members who passed away. A time of the year to tell old stories and remember and celebrate those who have gone before us. I appreciate the Latin culture for having this type of tradition. The story of the movie is set around a family’s preparation for the Day of the Dead celebration and a young boy Miguel who secretly has taught himself to play guitar and dreams of playing mariachi, but his grandmother forbids any music or instruments. Everett really likes the movie and I catch him singing the song “Remember Me” a lullaby from the movie. Here is a link to a video of this from the movie. He still seeks understanding (as we all do) of death and movies are one way in the past few months that has helped him with his own narrative. He amazes me in how very intellectually and emotionally he uses bits and pieces he has picked up.
Everett decided that he wanted to have back porch movie and watch Coco. Clay sets up a big screen and projector. Everett always wants to have popcorn and this time he had to include his pals, Edward and Emily the trains. He worked on their popcorn buckets a couple of days before the big night and made me do a photo shoot before the movie started. You can see everyone’s popcorn has been personalized by Everett. He watched the whole movie from beginning to end and explained things to Edward and Emily as the movie progressed.
Clay and I saw Coco in the theater when it came out in 2017. We had just been to Huntsville to see my niece in the Nutcracker and right outside the front of the concert hall entrance is a massive Ginkgo Tree that was brilliant in its fall yellow color and the leaves were falling from the tree.
I talked about how much I loved this tree that I remember it from my childhood. Then in the film Coco there are these beautiful scenes of what I thought were ginkgo leaves that had fallen. (Side Note: The information I actually found this morning when looking up some pictures and information about the movie is that the yellow leaves throughout the movie aren’t ginkgo. They aren’t even leaves. They are vivid orange flower petals called Aztec marigold, and the plant is traditionally used during the Día de los Muertos in Mexico to guide the deceased to the living. This really left me a bit disappointed, but I’m going to still tell this story.) After we left the movie, we talked again about the ginkgo trees and then throughout the next couple of months because this movie stuck with me had conversations about specifics of the Ginkgo species of trees. They can live for thousands of years, but are slow growing.
On Valentine’s Day, I walked into our house and there were what looked like four twigs sticking out of small pots on the kitchen countertop. Clay had to explain that he had given me four Ginkgo trees to plant around the house that we are about to start building. I was really moved by the gesture. I believe planting trees for the future is one of the most optimistic investments that can be made. Our ginkgo trees will take 20 years to be even 25 feet tall and I look forward to enjoying them as we are rocking away on our porches. This is what they look like right now and I have loved watching it grow this year and was surprised by how well they all did. I can’t look at them without feeling so thankful for the life we have created and the future ahead of us all.