I was still wiping away tears when a lady outside the movie theatre asked “What did you think?” about the new Disney movie Dumbo. I could hardly talk to explain why I was still crying! But more on that in a moment. First, shout out to Priscilla, my sister Emille’s blogger friend, who gave us two screening passes to check out the movie before it officially opened!
Back to my tear-stained face, Disney’s new Dumbo movie tugged at my heart strings in a very cathartic way. I don’t think I knew how much I needed to cry all those tears.
If you’re starting to wonder, GIRL, how much did you CRY?! Let me just say that a lady who was sitting near my sister and I answered for me. She told the movie theatre lady, oh, ma’am, she’s been crying since VERY early on in the movie! (HA!)
Disney’s New Dumbo triggered “old” Dumbo memories
Growing up, my sister, brother and I watched ALL the Disney movies. From old school classic Snow White to more obscure movies like “In Search of the Castaways,” “Summer Magic” and pretty much anything with Hayley Mills! But the classic Dumbo cartoon movie had a special place in a little corner of my heart.
I was never a very emotional child. Crying was weakness. I felt pride in being a “strong girl.” Not sure where that came from. But I remember the scene in Dumbo where the Mom elephant, Mrs. Jumbo, reaches her trunk through the bars of her cage, to cradle her baby elephant the only way she could. For some reason, even though I didn’t want to cry, that strong little girl couldn’t hold back tears.
(Dang it, now I’m tearing up again, just writing this.)
If you’ve never heard that song, it’s the sweetest lullaby.
Baby mine, don’t you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part, baby of mine.
I shared that memory of “the movie that made me cry” with my husband recently, before I left Houston to move to Orlando. I had to leave him and our two kids behind, while I started my new job. We tried everything we knew to sell or rent our home in Texas and looked feverishly for a house in Florida to no avail.
The day came when I had to leave. I came close to QUITTING that new job because I just COULDN’T leave my family! But we decided to muster up all the faith we could, knowing that God was up to something with this move, and all we had to do was follow him (even if we’re following Him separately for a little bit.)
The reason I shared the memory was because my sister (who happens to live in Orlando), told me that she might have those two tickets to the new Dumbo movie screening. To be honest, my sister and I wondered if this would be worth giving up a weeknight. But I’m really glad we did.
Did I have a Cathartic Moment with Dumbo?
Yes, I did.
One definition of catharsis is “the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.”
Remember when I shared I loved being a “strong girl?” I still do. I can hold back tears like a pro. Although I’ve softened (a lot if you ask me) through the years, especially after becoming a mom, I still prefer to let the world know I’M OK ALL THE TIME!
Of course, we all know no one is ok all the time. But it’s nice to feel like everything is ok, at least sometimes.
There is much to be said about being strong, staying positive, having an optimistic outlook and moving forward. But Dumbo helped me realize that catharsis can be much needed, too.
Healing through (elephant) tears
I did not expect to walk into Disney’s new Dumbo movie and experience relief and healing. In the back of my mind, because I had shared the “Baby Mine” memory with my hubby, the possibility was there that I might shed a tear or two.
But when, as one movie reviewer shared, the crying turned to sobbing, I knew something was coming to the surface that I had not let myself feel.
The weeks leading up to my impending solo move to Florida for a yet-unknown amount of time without my family were busy. I tried to enjoy time with Adam and the kids, continued frantically to do what we could to sell our house and find another one and reminded myself to breathe. Often.
(Side note: Shout out to the Google Fit Breathe app on my Fossil Q smartwatch. It actually guides you through a breathing exercise. It really helps! I’m sharing my Amazon affiliate link to the watch here, if you want to check it out! I get a small commission if you buy through my link, at no extra cost to you!)
I had some crying sessions at home and in the car, but I normally found a drive-thru napkin and just wiped my face, prayed and kept driving.
But for the most part, that STRONG GIRL kept moving forward because that’s how we do.
I just would much rather move WITH my family than without them. But here we are.
Back to the movie … and healing through tears.
I let myself FEEL the sadness
(We could go deeper into this subject if you’ve watched the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out,” but that’s a whole other blog post!)
I was honestly surprised. Disney’s new Dumbo movie helped me feel the sadness I had been hiding. It helped me heal through tears.
The movie lets you indirectly witness the birth of baby Dumbo and how the mom doesn’t want to leave her baby behind. That may have been where my tears started. I could totally understand Mrs. Jumbo not wanting to leave her baby elephant like I had to leave my two “baby elephants.”
The two children in the movie who discover that Dumbo can fly, have lost their mother. Of course they miss her, which, again, had me feeling ALL sorts of emotions … sadness at being apart from my babies, but most of all gratitude that I could look forward to reuniting with them (hopefully soon!)
And then, Baby Mine.
If I could’ve left the movie theater, gotten on an airplane, hopped on an Uber and arrived home to hug my hubby and kids at that very moment, I would have.
But the next best thing was that I allowed all those feelings to rush out. The “strong girl” in me had been trying to hold back and keep it together to make it through my first week at a new job without being an emotional mess.
To be honest, I think I might have been more of an emotional mess had I not been given the gift of Dumbo, inviting me to feel, cry, hug and facetime my kids that night to let them know that their mommy elephant misses and loves her baby elephants a TON.
(To which they jokingly replied, are you fat shaming us, mom?! And we all laughed.)
Laughing (and sometimes needing a kid’s movie to allow myself to cry) through life,