Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally.


My son and I read the book How to Train Your Dragon together at bedtime a few months ago. I promised him that we could also go see the movie when it came out opening weekend.

So, this past weekend, we went on a date.

I met up with him right after my signing. He jumped out of the car, waved goodbye to his dad and brothers, and ran toward me with a fistful of tickets and brochures. Neither of us could stop grinning.

I admit I went in with low expectations. I’d read in reviews that the movie deviated from the book in many, many ways. We loved the slapstick, hilarious humor, and craziness of the books. And even though all the reviewers seemed to love the movie, I was prepared to just love being with my son at the movie. Which would have been plenty. (Is anyone else absolutely crazy about this age? Gap-toothed, excited, learning to read and do many other things, but still willing to hold your hand on the way into the theater?)

But then the movie was really, really wonderful. It wasn’t like the book, in many ways. And it was more serious in tone. But somehow, it still felt true to the story. To the heart of the book. (To me, anyway. I wonder what the author thinks. I imagine she loves it, but still. Does anyone know?)

I love going to matinees because the theater is full of kids, who are bobbing up and down in their chairs because they’re not heavy enough to weigh them down, who are laughing like crazy, who eat popcorn crunchily and with abandon.

When the movie ended, all the kids took a deep breath. Whoosh. You could hear it. And then everyone began to clap.

We walked out of the theater, both with shining eyes and tummies full of popcorn. “I loved it,” my boy said.

“Me too,” I agreed.

I have been thinking about this idea quite a bit since then. How sometimes our life can feel like an adaptation of the one we would have written for ourselves, the one we imagined or dreamed about or worked very hard to construct. And that’s okay. As long as the heart of it remains the same, or as long as we stay true to our own hearts, it’s still our own story.

+ comments (9)
  • Sara
    March 30, 2010

    That kind of reminds me about what we were talking about the other day – how life sometimes turns out so different than what you thought it would be. (My thoughts on that were also inspired by a movie, albeit a different one, as you know) It’s true though, sometimes things are quite different than how we dreamed or planned, but it’s amazing how in the end, it’s usually even better in some ways. I hope that will continue to be true.

    I can’t wait to take my oldest son to see this, I think he’ll love it!

  • Aubrey(AKAStacey)
    March 30, 2010

    I love reading your posts Ally! Miss you tons!

  • KayeleenHamblin
    March 30, 2010

    I love this thought, Ally. Thanks.

  • JoanFairbank
    March 30, 2010

    Ally, sounds like such a sweet date. Boys that age are so precious. They’re still willing to sing their hearts out in primary:) I always appreciate your posts.

  • becca
    March 30, 2010

    You? Have deep thoughts. I’m sort of stuck on the idea of a great deal of popcorn.

    Mmmm. Popcorn.

    Okay, I’m back. ANd really glad both for the recommendation and the great thoughts about adaptations of our life scripts. Good, you.

  • Sandy Shin
    March 30, 2010

    As long as the heart of it remains the same, or as long as we stay true to our own hearts, it’s still our own story.

    Yes. Definitely.

    Lovely post!

  • Samantha
    March 31, 2010

    Beautiful post. We loved the movie too. Definitely exceeded expectations.

  • Melissa
    March 31, 2010

    Oh Ally. You definitely found your calling in life by becoming a mother and a writer. You have such an amazing way of saying things and making everything sound like it came out of a profound, classic novel. Oh how I miss you and your little men and wish you were still down the street from me in dear old Ithaca…

  • Camden
    April 1, 2010

    What a lovely thought. Yes, I love that age, and going to the movies with my kids. I’m glad to know you liked the movie. Tanner is getting the book in his Easter Basket so we’ll wait.

    I love your sentiments about adaptation. Isn’t that what life is about? Adapting.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *