Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An Attempted Awakening

Kids are influenced by their environments. I don't think anyone would argue with that. And anyone who has tried to navigate the sea of princesses and superheroes at a preschool playground on Halloween or any other day can clearly see that movies and stories hold much power to shape the imaginations of children. 

Maybe this is why Star Wars holds such appeal to us. As a kid tearing through the neighborhood on bike and foot it was not imagined pursuit of "robbers" that kept me captivated - instead it was an intergalactic kegger, oops wrong franchise chase to capture rebels or evade the dreaded darkside, depending on my role for the day. Sticks morphed to light sabers and blasters - not revolvers meant to usher the bad guy to the hoosegow, and the old monkey bars found a second identity as the famed Millenium Falcon - or Death Star depending on who was at the helm. It was a chance for us to be both the good and the bad guy. Spy, rebel, evil emperor - all shades of good and evil were available.

It was in this world that stories gained complexity and depth. The villain was not conquered easily and the good guys had to persevere through various obstacles. Loyalty was valued and - even among scoundrels - there was a sense of honor. And woven through it all, there was the justice of right overcoming wrong.

Is it any wonder then that the legacy was passed to my children? That as adults my husband and I want our children to explore the galaxy far far away and find the wonder we felt? 

In Sunnyville we have made this happen - with Eldest and Boy anyway. Both were thrilled by the trailers, waited with impatience for the release of 7, and headed to theaters at the earliest opportunity.

Youngest, being in pre-k - is unaffected. But, Tween (MG for middle girl??) is unconvinced. And it's driving the family to odd behavior. Boy has committed to sit with her through a watching of each of the episodes leading to the most current, to better give her a foundation and understanding - in other words to convince her they don't suck, which is how she seems to feel at this time. Both males in my home sat with her for episode 3 - and when the new kitten caused her attention to waver they could be heard to quiz her on the movie: "What just happened?" "You're not paying attention!" "Stop with the cat!"  "This is important!" 

Now, I am not sure this approach is working. Personally, knowing her temperament, I think they should have skipped to 6. I mean a girl easily distracted by kittens is bound to be won over by an Ewok - right? Regardless, I hope she finishes them over the break, as I would like to witness the force awaken for myself before I return to the classroom and have it all told to me by students.