Friday, December 4, 2009

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

They sit on the sofa, their faces beaming.
“I love this part.”
“Oh, here it comes.”
“This part is so great!”
“Oh boy oh boy…”
And then a raucous pandemonium breaks out, and they cheer and laugh and bounce up and down…
“Yes! Here come the Dead! Here come the Dead!”

I always feel like breaking into a chorus of When the Saints Come Marching In at this point in the movie… the kids are always so thrilled to see the Dead.

Although I do not own a television, I do own a DVD player. And of the movies we own, three of the favorites are the three movies of The Lord of the Rings. They are amazing movies. Very satisfying. I have quibbles, but I could watch them again and again. And I have. Recently, we went through a bout with the flu, which at my house means nearly a month of sick children, going down like dominos. And all of them wanted to watch The Lord of the Rings. More than once.

I don’t mind. I like the scene where Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli leap off the corsairs ships and the Dead swarm ashore too. And I like the Ents. That Ent moot… I think Tolkien must have known some Quakers: “…And we don’t say anything unless it’s worth taking a very long time to say…”

And there are the parts we don’t watch. Not that we don’t think they are well-done. We usually skip the part that shows Gollum’s origins… “too creepy” sez my 12-year-old. And we always skip past the part with Shelob. She is just too dangerous.

Then there’s that sweet sweet moment that still makes this foolish mommy cry, when my seven-year-old nestled up to me and put his hand in mine and looked up at me with shining eyes. We had just watched the scene when Frodo wakes up in bed in Minas Tirith, after he has been rescued from Mount Doom. And there is Gandalf, smiling. Gandalf, whom Frodo thought was dead. Then in run Merry and Pippin and leap on the bed, and pretty soon Legolas and Gimli and Aragorn and Sam are all in the room. Everyone is smiling and laughing and happy and hugging. And safe. At last, at long last, safe.
“Play that part again,” he whispered.

I’ve fallen more in love with Frodo and Sam. The importance of friendship and faithfulness really shines in the movie. My heart goes out to Frodo, saddled through no fault of his own with a job to do. And such a job. But he keeps at it, even though sometimes he’s sure he will fail and he can’t see any way forward. He keeps at it, even though other people might seem like the more logical choice to do the task. He keeps at it, even though it hurts him. He keeps at it, even though it might kill him. In the end, of course, he needs help from both his friends and his enemy in order to succeed. But he does succeed.

“I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.” We should all be so faithful.


Hystery said...

We love Lord of the Rings too and Star Wars and Star Trek and Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. (We just can't get nerdier even if we tried!) There are powerful mythological motifs in these movies and books (all of them first created in the post-WWII world that was falling in love with Jung/archetypal theory as well as with folklore and myth in general.) What is also pretty wonderful to me is the very Pagan way (by which I mean playful, symbolic, and earth-centered) the authors and producers of these latter day myths have incorporated very Christian concepts. Both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were deeply religious men and the strength of those beliefs shine through.

Diane said...

Roger and I recently rewatched the three Lord of the Rings movies. Our kids love them too. They are great movies. I love the fact that the armies are not what win the battle with evil--it is Frodo renoucing the ring of earthly power and dominion.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Nice to meet you! You have a darling family. Look forward to reading both blogs!

Shawna said...

Hi Hystery and Diane! Yep. The mythology/symbolism is great. In the book, Frodo even declares that he will not wear a sword again. Great stuff.

Hi Michelle! I am so glad you stopped by. Thank you for the nice things you said over at my husband's blog... I haven't been online lately, but I did peek over Kevin's shoulder the other day while he was online. You are very kind.