I know it’s summer, because school’s out and it’s time to go to Tuesday $5.00 movies with my granddaughter. This has been a standing date, whenever there is anything worth seeing. My granddaughter is sixteen, yet she is still a child at heart. She loves Disney movies. She still enjoys animated films and make believe. So do I. I guess we’re cut from the same cloth. Yesterday, our date almost didn’t happen, because all but two seats were sold out. I snatched them up. Our seats were one row apart and she sat behind me so she could make sure I behaved.
I’d almost forgotten the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp, but as the film unfolded it all came flooding back into my brain. The thought of a magic lamp, a flying carpet, three wishes and the possibility of having anything you ever dreamed of started sneaking into my memory. Maybe this is why I’d forgotten about the story. Throughout my life, promises of having everything necessary for a luxurious lifestyle was never meant to be.
As the story spilled onto the screen, it was apparent that luxury wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The poor street urchin, Aladdin, was an orphan, fending for himself on the streets of Agrabah. Straight from the tales of the Arabian nights, this story has evolved over the years, but still has one main thread running through it. That being, the triumph of good over evil. This theme has been manipulated over time, but I love the way this film depicts the wrongdoings Aladdin was involved in just to get a meal each day. Even though he said it was OK as long as he didn’t get caught. The idea of a young child having to live that way is sorrowful, but he was doing what was necessary to survive.
He falls for the wealthiest woman in town and gains control of a magic lamp which houses a huge blue genie. The genie will grant him three wishes and Aladdin learns to choose those wishes wisely. When the villain interferes there are conflicts, but in the end, the good guy always wins. Happy endings are imperative in any good fairy tale. The lovely lessons learned from this story is that we are all equal really. We have the same beginnings. Our circumstances will affect our lives, but how they turn out depends on how we live them.
My granddaughter is currently rehearsing for a stage production of “Aladdin.” She is part of a program designed for children with special needs. This program casts children of various special needs as characters in the play. Each of them has a mentor who works alongside them, guiding them through the process and helping them if they forget a line or miss a cue. In a way, she’s like that magic Genie in the lamp, allowing some very special friends to see their wishes realized on stage.
Each year, this child has astounded me with her care for others. She is indeed a treasure in herself. This experience has led her to contemplate a career as a special education teacher. I know whatever she does will be part of her passion to help others.
In the meantime, we will go to the movies on Tuesdays. We will continue to bond as grandparent and grandchild. I will put up with her mood swings and she will speak louder so I can hear her and tolerate my driving, my breathing issues, my memory losses and my inability to keep up with her. Why? Because this is our story. We love each other and want what’s best for each other. That’s what I call a happy ending.