Get Out of the House


Family Movie Night (or Afternoon)

My dad is old school in a big way. He goes to bed by 9 p.m. and wakes when it is dark out. He still reads an actual newspaper every morning.  And he reminisces about listening to “The Shadow” on the radio when he was little. Back in the day, he took me to the movies when Disney was still making G-rated movies with real people in them (remember “Herbie the Love Bug?”) When he visited a year ago, we took the girls to the movies and saw Adam Sandler’s “Bedtimes Stories,” which all four of us enjoyed. Leaving the theater, my dad commented on how nice it was to see a movie that was made for everyone.  I thought to myself, “Unlike one of those annoying kids’ movies that adults grimace their way through.” The idea of a family movie has stayed with me.


Last weekend, after weeks of anticipation, I took Isabel to see “Soul Surfer” with three of her friends, all third graders who had read the book earlier this school year.  For those living under a rock, “Soul Surfer” is the real-life story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, a 13-year-old from Hawaii surfing with a friend when a random act changed her life forever. Bethany’s left arm was bitten off in a sudden shark attack.


Bethany owes her recovery to her faith in God and the strong support of her close-knit family and community on Kauai. She was back in the water surfing shortly after the accident and is currently a pro surfer. This young girl overcame a major obstacle that would have brought many others twice her age down for the count.


As we watched the movie (girls in one row, moms behind), I checked on Izzy a few times to make sure she was handling the drama. She was. However, the other moms and I sat there with tears streaming down our faces for much of the film as we, perhaps, understood the emotions of the parents as well as the child in the movie.


This is a great movie to see, whether or not you surf or have children. It’s a great family movie, meaning one everyone except the littlest kids (I’d say this is for third-graders and older) can enjoy and discuss for days after. Bethany Hamilton sets a great example. Hers is a story of perseverance, faith and courage. Concepts we should all be better acquainted with.


I told my dad to see this movie.


Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do and the Calendar Editor for Parenting OC. Follow her blog at

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