Last night, after our girls’ sewing and music classes for the day, my family and I went to watch the movie Dolphin Tale 2. We’ve been waiting for this! Being the beach persons and marine life lovers that we all are, we were all excited to see what happens next, aside from the fact that Dolphin Tale 1 deeply inspired our family, most especially our girls, and has our votes as one of our most-loved, never-will-forget movies.
I am not going to give you a synopsis of what Dolphin Tale 2 is about (Hint: You HAVE to see it for yourself! Go see Dolphin Tale 1 first if you haven’t. In case you didn’t know yet, the kids in this movie are portraying characters as homeschooled kids). What I would want to share with you are the three lessons I learned from it.
Lesson #1 – rescue, rehab, release
At one point in the movie, this goal of Clearwater Marine Aquarium had to be made clear by Dr. Clay to his daughter, Hazel, who became attached to Mandy, one of the dolphins they took care at the aquarium. Hazel, who works at the aquarium, became attached to her and wasn’t ready for that day when she was told that it’s time to release Mandy back to the wild.
Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release. It sounds very much like our roles as parents, doesn’t it? We nurture our kids and take care of their needs the moment they are conceived in our wombs. Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Educational, Financial, and practically, everything else. When they fall or hurt themselves, and most especially, when they go through different, painful learning curves in life, we come to their rescue and do our best to mend their wounds and scars. Then, the inevitable time comes when, first, we learn to start letting go of our precious ones and finally, making that release even when it hurts deep inside and we don’t really want to.
This was just one of those scenes in the movie where I was reminded that I do not own my children. They are God’s children and I was just given both the privilege and the responsibility to parent them and be good stewards of God’s own. Ultimately, Arielle and Kayla, are God’s and it is my role to raise them up in their uniqueness, help them to live their lives according to their design and purpose, and release them as responsible and God-fearing adults.
LESSON #2 – let others see what you are passionate about
What a coincidence that it was also yesterday, just before going inside the cinema, when I saw a post shared by a homeschool mom on what the top universities look for in their applicants. Times have changed where grades and academic standing are no longer the end-all or the golden ticket to colleges or universities. They are looking for something else. What drives you? What do you involve yourself in outside school? What is it that you are ready to pursue and spend hours on beyond the walls of the classroom?
In the movie, Sawyer was presented and given the opportunity to join a program by Sea Education Association (SEA) on full scholarship! The man from SEA saw SOMETHING in Sawyer and he saw how driven and passionate Sawyer was as a volunteer at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Because of that, they want him!
This sort of served as another wake-up call to encourage Arielle to START DOING SOMETHING given her strengths and what she really is passionate about. I hope and pray that her taking a gap year before college would give her even more time to focus and work on her passion.
LESSON # 3 – SHAKE IT UP!
At Sawyer’s congratulatory/send-off party, he was given an old timepiece by Dr. McCarthy that wasn’t in tip-top shape and had to be shakened up in order for it to start running. It wasn’t easy for Sawyer to decide whether to take the offer by SEA, move to Boston, or just stay in Florida. He felt he couldn’t leave Winter, the aquarium, his family, his friends. Now that was the lesson from the broken timepiece. One cannot always stay in his comfort zone. No matter how good everything seems to be in one’s life, in one’s box, you have to be shakened up, take other challenges, and move forward.
Before the movie, we were just talking to Kayla about this. She didn’t want to join an upcoming piano competition (which is still in February!) because she feels she is already struggling with all the pieces that she is learning and that she can’t do it. After the movie, we had to remind her about this scene in the movie and that she has to take up challenges presented to her, and not shy away from them.
The movie just started being shown in the cinemas last October 8 and I highly recommend that you go see it as a family. It really is one beautiful movie! As we walked out of the cinema, the girls and I confessed to one another that we were crying or at least teary-eyed as we were watching the movie. Marine life, taking care of the environment, supporting a cause and the other lessons woven in the story all make Dolphin Tale one of the top favorite films of our girls and our family.
I would love to know your take on this movie. Do share!