To my son Tommy,
Your mom finally nailed me down to watch a movie. She had wanted me to watch this movie, called "About Time" for some time.
I have a great aversion for watching movies that others want me to watch because frankly what they really want is for me to love the movie as much as they do. I especially am not fond of watching the movie in their presence because they will see my true reactions. That is a ton of pressure! What if I don't love it? What if I don't even like it at all? What if I hate it? If I watch it alone, I could at least politely lie about it if I thought it to be that important to the other person!
Luckily, I liked the movie. I didn't super duper fall madly in love with it, but I enjoyed it and teared up which seemed to make your mom happy. Funny how me crying would please your mom, but it did just that.
At first I worried my reception of the movie would be really disappointing to your mom, considering in the first couple seconds I recognized the main actor as playing the part of one of the Weasley boys in the Harry Potter movie series and spent the first half of the movie trying to figure out which boy and which movie. It was a slow movie so I could let my mind wander without missing much. Still I imagine my reception to be a bit better than the movies I want your mom to watch. The list of movies I want your mom to watch includes stuff like Casablanca (your mom has a great aversion to black and white movies and no matter how good the story is can't get passed this fact) and Star Wars (which she is reluctantly watching because I want you to watch those movies as well). Don't ever let anyone tell you that you have to watch, like, and love the same movies in a relationship because that is just not true. People put way too much weight on this type of thing. Anyways, I digress...
The movie's premise is the men is this one family have the ability to travel back to a point in time of their existence. Not only that they can change time, as the ginger haired star often does in the beginning, trying to optimize the future with varying degrees of success. This movie was like the British answer to "Back to the Future" or "Groundhog Day" or the "Butterfly Effect" but on a much more serious and emotional level. The idea of wanting to go back in time and change things is as old as the feeling of regret itself. "If only" and "why didn't I" are the words that spawn the muse for these type of movies.
It takes some time, but our protagonist (Tim) learns that changes in the past can mean you miss and lose some of the most amazing moments you have already experienced in life. His father seems to had already learned these lessons, but instead of spoon feeding him these lessons, allows Tim to make his own mistakes. That might be a luxury of knowing that no mistake is permanent with this power.
In the end, even such a power is not enough to avoid death. Tim's father ends up with terminal cancer and time travel can do nothing to change this. The father gives his final lesson of how to be happy. His father suggests to live each day twice, that way you can really appreciate that day. In the end, Tim stops going back in time altogether, choosing to live each day only once, but determined to appreciate it as if he is living it a second time. It is the age old answer for the age old feeling of regret, live in the moment and appreciate every moment you live!
Still the power to go back in time...that would be an awesome gift for a dad to give a son. Though I will never give you the power to go back and change the past, in a way I have given you the power to go back in time. That is what this whole blog/letter writing thing is...the power to revisit the past. When you are older, when you read these letters, you will be able to go to a quiet place, close your eyes, clench your fists if you feel like it, and concentrate really really hard and you will be right there, in that moment you just read about it, even if it is only in your mind's eye. When you do this, even if I have gone from this world, I will be right there with you in heart, mind, and soul.
Sincerely with love from your dad,