This rainy Friday, I’m awfully grateful to my old friend Sasha Motalygo for bringing Pete’s Dragon back into my life.
I have a lot of parallels with Pete, and his dragon. The film and I are both babies of the year 1977. But I didn’t see it until I was seven, roughly the age of the orphan Pete in the film. I had just gone to live with my parents who were, for the most part, strangers to me. It was pretty scary, given I’d been living with my birth mother up until that point in my life. I felt like an orphan, not yet aware that my birth mother would disappear entirely, nor that my dad and step-mother would become more precious to me than I could ever imagine.
Just a few days after I moved to Dahlia Street, my step-mother (who I was still calling Margaret) took me to see Pete’s Dragon after school. I thought it was wildly exciting that I could see a movie on a school day. Even then, I think I could see the analogy between how much Helen Reddy as Nora loved little Pete, and how much my mom was growing to love me, and me her.
But re-watching “It’s Not Easy” today leaves me teary, as I see how that song alone can serve as a metaphor for our relationship. (Even the male pronoun for Pete’s other love works into the long arc of my life.)