We are big fans of Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Like, I just really can't tell you how often they come up in conversation. For example, Tyler recently started calling me 'Little Lady', since Woody coined the phrase. If only my three-year-old had a cowboy hat to tip in my direction.
With Toy Story 3 now playing in the theaters, we knew it was high time we introduced them to the first sequel to their beloved favorite. Also knowing we would need to watch it no less than 83 times, we didn't bother with renting. We went all in: we purchased Toy Story 2.
After dinner, baths, and fresh Toy Story jammies, we made a nest on the floor with blankets, pillows, and (of course) Woody and Buzz. With chocolate chip cookies in the oven and Cindrella's castle filling the screen, we were set. Family Movie Night.
But nobody told me that Woody gets kidnapped in this movie. Nobody told Tyler either.
Sidenote: Tucker is my linear thinker. He is logical, careful, black and white, and somewhat aware of what he should or should not be concerned with. Tyler is... not so much that way. He is a dreamer, his ideas are big and his limits are small, and he has no filter for what is real, what is make believe, and what is worth his 100% consumed concern.
Ten minutes into the movie, he hopped up from the nest of blankets and climbed into my lap. "Mommy, I need to sit wiff you."
He nestled in beside me, and together we narrated the entire movie. He asked questions and talked about the bad men, and I put my maternal spin on it, reminding him he was safe. (Part of me wanted to remind him that we have scene a dozen previews for Toy Story 3, so we can all rest assured that Woody lands safely in the end.)
He chewed his fingernails and his fists, and he couldn't even think about his fresh, warm, chocolate chip cookie. Who can eat when one's hero is in danger?
He didn't move out of my arms, not an inch, until the out-takes were finished and the credits were rolling. We were tight, my little guy and me.
And I discovered two things:
1. He will not be allowed to watch a truly sad movie until he is at least twelve years old. His little mind cannot handle things like that... and I get it. (I think a whole lot like this little boy.)
2. Tonight, he knew he could tackle this scene if only he could sit with me. He held my hand and talked to me, thinking it all out loud. Someday, it won't be quite so easy to soothe and reassure. Someday, he'll no longer think I can help him.
But that was not today.
Today, we settled in, snuggled up, and watched Woody and Buzz save each other again and again.
And I loved it, from start to finish.
"Life is only worth living if you're being loved by a kid."
~ Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story 2