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January 25, 2013 / paperkids

Believe you must

“You guys are gonna love this!”

My dear friends gave us the Star Wars trilogy for Christmas and ever since then I’d been desperate to put it on for the kids.  I built it up ahead of time, going on about how this was one of my favorite movies as a kid and how “they just don’t make them like this anymore” and “wait till you see this!”.   As I loaded it into our first generation Xbox, all kinds of memories of my childhood flashed across my mind.  I nestled the kids on the couch and cranked up the music.  That got their attention.  I even read the opening sequence “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..” and continued reading, my voice taking on the tone of a passionate member of the Rebel Alliance out to put an end once and for all to the dreaded Death Star. I saw it enough times as a kid to still recall most lines by heart and I found myself in moments of  giddy nostalgia, all the time glancing at Emma’s eyes as they danced all around, sometimes themselves seeming in another galaxy far, far away.  But I knew better.  What is she thinking about all this?   I didn’t want to interrupt the movie with a keyboard in her face.  I couldn’t wait to ask her if she recognized a few phrases that Jared always uses around the house like “What kind of talk is that?” in his pretty darn convincing Luke Skywalker impersonation.

I remember there was a time when I thought Emma would never sit down and watch a movie with me like this.  There was a time where I wasn’t really sure if she understood what was happening all around her.  Her actions would often speak otherwise, but appearances can be deceiving as I now know well.  There was  a time where I thought that I would never be able to share these bits of my childhood with her  like other parents did.  But as I now know and constantly find myself hammering into my own thick, forgetful skull….

Never say never!

When it was over, I still felt all the magic I had when I first saw it all those years (decades) ago.  Hayden had snuck away with the ipad upstairs long before.  I would turn him into a fan, I told myself.  All in good time.

Me: “What did you think Emma?”  I put the keyboard in her lap and grabbed her shoulder for support, periodically squeezing her hand in between letters.

Emma:  Really terrific

Me:  “Isn’t it so amazing!  Ugh.  I just love these movies.  And you know what?!   There are two more!!!  Isn’t that exciting!”

Emma:  Yay

She tried to get up, but I forced the keyboard on her again, poor girl.

Me: “Sooo, who was your favorite character.. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca…”

Emma:  Han Solo

Of course!  

Me:  “Yes.  Me too Emma.  I love him.  He was always my favorite.”  More like, I had an insane crush on him.


A week later, during the second film, The Empire Strikes Back, I felt myself engulfed, same twinkly eyes shining and glancing over at Emma throughout.  Prompting and coaxing her to “C’mon Emma.. sit back down” when she got up to leave the room during the movie when her body just needed to move.  Yoda was training Luke in the ways of the Force.    Luke had tried and failed to lift his ship from the thick bog by way of the Force complaining that it was too big.  Yoda had told him “unlearn what you have learned”, a great classic Yoda line.  Luke huffed away and Yoda closed his eyes and proceeded to lift the giant ship out with a wave of his small green hand and lay it softly on the bank.  He delivered another small line at the end there that I didn’t  remember as a kid, but it now struck me in an unexpected way.

Luke: “I don’t believe it!”

Yoda: “That is why you failed.”

When I think about belief, it’s hard not to think about Emma.   My God, anytime I have a doubt about believing, I just look at her!  Yoda’s line also made me recall  the parable Jesus told of the mustard seed in the Bible.

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

Watching the movie and looking at Emma, I wanted to cry all over again as I did that day that she first communicated with me.  I wanted to get down and thank God again that I could share this simple  moment of childhood glee with the child that I wasn’t sure I’d ever really know.  How many times had faith lifted me out of that bog time and time again when all seemed hopeless and impossible?!  There have been a lot of things that I have lost over the years.  I’ve lost sleep.  I’ve lost patience.  I’ve lost my confidence. I’ve lost heart.   I’ve lost dreams.  I lost my ability to think straight.  I’m pretty sure I even lost my sanity more than a few times.  Looking backward and forward, I’m not really sure of any of the choices that I’ve made or anything that I have or haven’t done for the kids.  The only thing that I ever really did – and I did it with all of my heart – was just believe.  Thank you God for that gift above any other!  I know deep down that it will never fail me – a heartbeat pounding the truth again and again….

All things are possible! 

Me:  “So what did you think Emma?  Pretty intense huh?”  The credits were rolling.  Han had been frozen and Luke had lost his hand and discovered that Darth Vader was his father… (spoiler alert?)

Emma:  “Really wonderful drunk with yearning to know what will happen to Han”

Me:  “Yes, I know!!!  Well, we’ll have to see”.  I smiled at her choice of words.

Yes, Harrison Ford can certainly have that effect on a girl.



Leave a Comment
  1. moysl / Jan 25 2013 11:05 am

    Your honest self-reflection and perspective always fills me with gratitude. (And Hans was my favorite, too, Emma.)

  2. shegoestowatermom / Jan 25 2013 3:35 pm

    Sabra;- once again you show the world what a wonderful writer you are, as well as a loving mother who is attentive to your daughter. How sweet those moments must have been.
    I see you both, sitting together, mother and daughter, enjoying a bond which has taken all of your courage and energy to create with faith that there is more than we see.
    No matter what faith one has – even if it is in Life, or the universe – we know that anything can happen. Much love to you, to my son,and to my beautiful grandchildren.

  3. Molly / Jan 26 2013 6:16 am

    Thanks sabra I love I guys

    Sent from my iPhone

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