Channeling ‘The Perfect Storm’

Friday night, after the kids went to bed, husband and I collapsed on the couch to do our usual – a little TV watching, some conversation, and decompression. I made it to the couch first, and husband came later, as he was putting our younger two to bed. When he joined me, I was watching the last hour of “The Perfect Storm” – a movie I’ve seen many times and one my husband has little patience for.

“Come on,” he said to me. “Change the channel. How many times have you seen this? Let’s put Hulu on.” He reached for the remote. I drew my line in the sand.

“Nope. I want to see it. I think you know why. Do you remember when we first saw this?” He acquiesced.

Rewind the film of our lives back to the summer of 2000. “The Perfect Storm” and “Gladiator” were big hits that summer. I was quite pregnant with Lil D, and we were living in New York City. A few days before I gave birth, husband and I walked to the theater near the Lincoln Center with plans to be blown away by Russell Crowe in “Gladiator.” We knew it would be our last movie in the theater for a long time.

As a precursor to the pattern our lives (we plan something, it doesn’t happen that way), “Gladiator” was sold out. I was determined to see a movie. “The Perfect Storm” was just about to start. “Come on,” I said. “It’s got George Clooney and it’s supposed to have some epic scenes of the storms at sea.” So we went. It was pretty good – though not as good as “Gladiator” (which we later saw on DVD).

About three days later, about a month before his due date, Lil D was born in an emergency birth. He was, is, The Perfect Storm. It became a running, grim joke between husband and I. It really has become, in many ways, the Perfect Metaphor for Lil D and his autism — battling the hard times, taking chances, trying to find what will help, what will work, reveling in the good times when things are working and progress is happening, trying not to get spooked by bad moments. Pushing, pushing, pushing.

This is the scene that seems to epitomize things of late. George Clooney uttering the words, “She’s not going to let us out,” and then when faced with the wave that will be his demise, shouting into the wind, “Come on, you bitch!” The difference, though, is that for Lil D and us — we may get flipped, but we don’t drown. (I know I may be pushing the comparison here, but work with me.)

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Three years later when Amal was about to be born, we again went to see a movie. “Let’s choose carefully,” I joked to my husband (only I was half serious). “This may be a taste of how our daughter will be.

We saw “Bend it Like Beckham.” Wise choice. (Come on! She’s a feisty girl who wants to honor her parents but also follow her dreams!)

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Four years later brought the birth of Hamza. As we headed into my final trimester, husband asked me, “Well, what movie shall we see?” I debated our choices. We both wanted to see “The Simpsons Movie,” but didn’t want to run the risk of giving birth to a Homer or Bart.

In the end, we ended up see nothing, as Ramadan had begun. Hamza was born on the 13th of Ramadan (September, 2007).

No movie plotline to compare him too – and I like it!

About Dilshad Ali
  • Rebecca Cusey

    Haha. You’re wise to steer away from “The Simpsons Movie.” I have a little Bart and, while he’s endlessly entertaining, I have to endure a lot of fart jokes.


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