It was Big Girl's night out with her parents last Saturday. We take turns with the kids so they can have some alone time with their parents once every 5 weeks. It's a real treat! She wanted to go to the movies. So we took her to see Where the Wild Things Are. I think I have told you that every time I see the trailers for this movie I start to cry. I don't really get it myself. I listened to a radio show (or the tail end of one) with Diane Rehm interviewing a couple guests who were talking about Maurice Sendak's works and the upcoming movie. During the interview, on the drive home, I was again a sobbing mess. The book is timeless. The illustrations perfect. My favorite pages may be the ones without words. Where one can make sound effects to the wild rumpus if one desires. Where the child decides when it's time to turn the page. It's a story of unconditional love. A story of being just a bit afraid of one's own wild side. A tale of a child's boundless imagination. And it makes me cry. Maybe I am remembering a time when my own mother read this book to me. A mother who in my early twenties abandoned me when she passed away. Leaving me mad and wild. Maybe I am internally longing for my own childhood. Maybe I am afraid of my own wild things at home and the fear that is under that wild behavior.
Anyways, watching the movie really did remind me of the dark and sad side I sometimes see in my own children. And it reminded me of a great truth. One that I have always known but somehow it slips away consistently. That when your kids act wild it is usually because they have fear. They fear loss of your attentions and acceptance. They crave validation and act out to get you to look in their direction again. When we feed them the attention and love they crave, it soothes the savage inside.
I think that Spike Jonez did a great job of capturing the emotions of childhood in this movie. Childhood fears of abandonment, being ignored, and left out. Childhood wildness, danger, love, humor, and imagination. I cried several times and went through 2 tissues during the movie. I also am feeling a bit raw after a week in bed with the flu though, so that could have been an contributing factor.
When I spoke with a friend on the phone last night and told her my thoughts on the movie she agreed and told me that several of her friends have said how bored they were with it. Bored? Are you serious? That is so weak! Did they not see the symbolism? It was deep and funny and sad and in the end happy. What's not to like!? I know that everyone has different tastes. But for the record Where the Wild Things are tasted just fine to me!