Mary Poppins Magic

So I asked my returned missionary son what movie he wanted to watch first now that he’s home. He surprised me by saying Mary Poppins! When he was 2 and 3 years old, he would watch it almost every day while I homeschooled the older two. We lived in my in laws’ home while they were away on a mission. He would sit in the basement family room in Provo, with the ugly red carpet and 70s curtains and watch Mary on our VHS version, which has lasted all these years and we are using it tonight. Wow, this video has lasted a long time, and childhood habits run deep!

I remember a friend asking me how homeschooling was going. I replied with, “Fine as long as I don’t feel guilty about the fact that my 2 year old is watching Mary Poppins every day.” She said, “Oh no, just assure yourself that the worst that can happen is that he grows up to have a great singing voice!” He also had this Fisher Price Little People man figure with a straw hat that came with the roller coaster set. It had a red stripe on the hat so my son dubbed it “Bert” because of the scene where Bert wears a straw hat with a stripe, a striped jacket, and dances with the penguins. He always tried to dance with his pants pulled down low like Bert imitating the penguins and could never get it to work. Oh, the innocence of childhood! So in honor of my son and his request, we’ve all had some laughs watching May Poppins together tonight.

I’m excited to see the sequel that comes out on Christmas Day. I saw the original in a theater, before videos, when I was young, visiting my grandparents for a summer vacation. It has always been one of my favorite movie for kids for sure.

My son said that Elder Renlund scored big points with him with his recent General Conference talk that referred to Mary’s wisdom. My favorite parts from that talk are these:

Brothers and sisters, like Jane and Michael Banks, we are “good kids” who are worth bothering about. Our Heavenly Father wants to help and bless us, but we do not always let Him. Sometimes, we even act as if we already know everything. And we too need to do “the next bit” on our own. That is why we came to earth from a premortal, heavenly home. Our “bit” involves making choices.

Our Heavenly Father’s goal in parenting is not to have His children do what is right; it is to have His children choose to do what is right and ultimately become like Him. If He simply wanted us to be obedient, He would use immediate rewards and punishments to influence our behaviors.

But God is not interested in His children just becoming trained and obedient “pets” who will not chew on His slippers in the celestial living room.3 No, God wants His children to grow up spiritually and join Him in the family business.

So true! I love it! It’s so amazing! God really does want us to join Him in the family business! He gives us everything possible for us to to do so, but he won’t force us into it. We get to choose.

Nowadays I like to learn more about the “making of the movie” since I appreciate history and culture more. I found these fun clips. I think they are on the Mary Poppins 50th anniversary edition DVD set.

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