Why I totally cried at The Peanuts Movie

I’ve never hid from the fact that I often cry watching SportsCenter.  I mean, there’s actually a long list of weird things that make me tear up.

Why I totally cried at The Peanuts Movie

My wife laughs at me all the time.

You know, because we’ll be watching The Middle…The Middle…and she’ll look over at me and my eyes will be as big as tennis balls. Because I’m trying to hold it in. Dang you, Sue Heck!

Well, add The Peanuts Movie to that list. I know. I know. Odd.

If you have small kids, you should definitely see it. They’ll crack up.

Me? I just cracked. And it didn’t happen until right at the end…out of nowhere!

As you would expect, for nearly an hour and a half Charlie Brown goofed everything up. No matter what he tried to do…despite his good intentions…things went wrong. If you know Chuck, you know what I’m talking about.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know the ending, you should bail now.

Right at the end, he finally got the courage to talk to the Little Red-haired Girl. You see, it was the end of the school year and the class had to choose pen pals for the summer. And she chose Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown! No one ever chooses Charlie Brown!

(Touching, I know! But that’s not where I lost it.)

He had to know why. Had to. So he chased her down and asked her.

I’m paraphrasing here:

Charlie Brown: I mess everything up and no one ever picks me. Why did you?

Little Red-haired Girl: (What is her name, anyway!?!?) Because I see your kindness. I see your heart. I didn’t just see the outcomes; I saw the journey.

And…that’s where I lost it.

We all mess things up sometimes. We all work hard for the best possible outcome and sometimes things just don’t work out. We all struggle sometimes to fly a simple kite…At some point, we all give everything we have to kicking that blasted football. And We. Just. Can’t. Auggghh!

And people judge us for it. They assign us a worth based on their opinion of the outcomes we deliver.

And so we all need someone like the Little Red-haired girl in our lives. Someone who sees past the messes we create, the failures, and just gets us.

About the time we saw the movie I tried to host a “fun run” in order to help collect Thanksgiving food for folks in our community. I worked on it for a while. I had a flyer, posted on social media, sent emails, created a webpage, and put signs up along the path in anticipation of all the runners. If you don’t count the people that live with me, three people came. Three. And one of them was my sister. I’m very thankful for those three people, but I did feel like Charlie Brown when it was over. Admittedly, I was slightly embarrassed.

My wife, though, helped me see the big picture.

She pointed out the journey I went on. She looked past the outcome and encouraged me the same as if 1,000 people had shown up.

I want to be like that…don’t you?

Especially for my kids…

I want to see past the messes they’ll create, past the failures, and appreciate the journey they’re on.

I want to help them see that it’s okay if you get stuck in a tree like a kite once in a while. The important thing is that you tried to fly.

I want them to see it’s better to swing and miss, than never swing at all.

I want them to know that their self worth has nothing to do with a single outcome and how others view them because of it.

I want them to know that even if no one else ever chooses them, I always will.

I want to be like the Little Red-haired girl for my children.

Because at some point, my kids will be Charlie Brown. Sometimes, we are all Charlie Brown.

And that’s why I totally cried at the Peanuts Movie.

I know, right. Good grief!

Stephen

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