Yesterday was my nephew TotTwo's birthday. He wanted to see Astro Boy, but our little theater wasn't showing it and trekking 45 minutes to Joplin on a school night wasn't an option, so we all loaded up to go see Where the Wild Things Are.
First off, let me just say that I have the rawest emotions right now - my family is in a bit of upheaval, it's been rainy and gloomy for weeks now and my self-diagnosed SAD is kickin' in early this year, we are feeling that $2 an hour pay cut my husband took several months ago (How convenient that we just start to feel it this time of year...), and the holidays are closing in quickly. I cry at stupid stuff, I tend to over-emote over minute details and everything is cataclysmic. Yeah, I'm pretty much a wreck.
When I first saw the trailers for Wild Things I teared up, even though it was previewing before the dang Harry Potter movie I saw with my then 12 year old who merely rolled her eyes are her mother who had the audacity to cry over a TRAILER. I came home gushing over how I HAD to see that movie and Kady immediately picked it as her "And Me" date.
Explanation: Paul and I try very hard to spend one-on-one time with our kids when we can. Whether it's a trip to Walmart with one child, an afternoon making cookies or even a "Hey, I've gotta go pick up a loaf of bread, wanna ride with?" type thing. Not very often we also do an "And Me" night with the kids - you know, Mom and Me, Dad and Me. Get it? Back in the summer Abby and I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Paul and Sam saw both Transformers movies. Sam and I are going to see AstroBoy and Abby and I will see New Moon next month. Kady and I .... wait.....something just occured to me. Our dates should be "And I" date. Dude, my mad grammar skillz are slipping. Oh well. We've called them And Me Dates for so long, why switch now?
Kady and I have planned for months to go see Wild Things but TotTwo's AstroBoy-less birthday party kind of demanded a change in plans. When we got there Kady asked if I was okay with her sitting with the "big girls" (her cousin and her cousin's friend) and I said that was fine by me. Not every day your big bad 7 year old self gets to sit with full-fledged BIG GIRLS WHO ARE NOT YOUR BIG SISTER, ya know. Well, all it took was watching poor Max destroying his big sister's room in a rage of hurt feelings too much for his little self to handle to send Kady running back to me in a blubbering, sobbing mess of tears and emotion. It wasn't that long ago she taped all of her brother's books shut in a fit of frustration and hurt feelings and I'm guessing she totally knew what Max was feeling.
At one point she and I had to get up and leave the theater for a few minutes so she could calm down. She is a very emotional child, to say the least.
I loved every bit of the movie - even the loud, visually intense scenes and was able to enjoy them despite my mother saying, "Oooh I'm getting nauseous from that camera wiggling like that." I was able to dwell internally on the underlying themes of familial conflict and acceptance while my oldest daughter and sister yawned loudly and repeatedly. I was able to nod my head in complete agreement at the unconditional love the Wild Things had for each other even when all they wanted to do was eat each other and run away, even though everyone else around me was checking their cell phones for the time and fidgeting in their seats.
I was riveted. I was mesmerized. I was Max. I was a Wild Thing. I was a mother with my arms wrapped around my sobbing 7 year old, silently crying into her hair, hoping she never grows up and never loses her imagination and always hangs onto those emotions that grab her the way they do right now.
When the movie was over and Kady and I had at least stopped sobbing to the point we could walk, we all got up to leave. Mom patted Kady and said, "Honey, I'm on the verge of tears, too - I paid money to see this movie." Pops chuckled. Mom said, "No, I'm serious. I didn't understand one thing that went on on that screen!" Abby rolled her eyes, flipped open her phone and sent a text updating her Facebook status to say that she had just seen a movie that was dumb and confusing.
Standing in the theater lobby tried to explain to them what they had all just experienced, but they all stared back at me blankly. Finally I gave up and said they were all dumb and shallow-minded. Fortunately, they love me enough to know that I said that in the nicest way possible and don't hold their inability to understand wild rumpuses and gobbling someone up because you love them so against them in any way.
When I tucked Kady in last night she asked if she could be Max for Halloween. I said, "Honey, Halloween is two days away and I just don't have time to sew you a wolf costume by then."
She nodded, yawned and said, "Okay, next year then, Momma...."
I turned her light off and hoped beyond hope that next year she still believes in Wild Things. Really, I hope she always does.