Where the Wild Things Live
I went and saw Where the Wild Things Are on Friday night with some good friends. I loved it. I knew I was going to love it before I even saw it.I sensed it. What I didn’t expect, was how attached to it I became. I’m usually the type that needs to “relate” to something for it to really matter to me. That’s what defines a good book, movie, or even commercial for me. This used to limit, in a way, what I would watch or read because I had pre-conceived ideas about whether I would enjoy something or not. I was pretty traditional in setting and tone. Didn’t care for sci-fi, fantasy, or unrealistic depictions very much. However, now I’m finding that themes can be prevalent even if circumstances are not relate-able (apparently I’ve made that word up according to spell check. Get used to it. I do it often.)
Going into the movie I thought, or I knew, I would love it in a nostalgic kid frenzy way. I didn’t expect to be drawn into another emotional storyline, however. In the book Max is this wild, creative, fanciful boy who has a rampant imagination and a bit of a temper to match. Very similar to the beasts that he meets. What you don’t see, in the story, is Max’s mother. I had never imagined what characteristics she might posses. What daily struggles she might face. But here she was, before me in the theater, and I was floored with emotion. A single mom, trying to recover from a divorce and beginning to move on with dating. She loves her son beyond belief, but she’s also exhausted by him. Exhausted by a constant need for attention. Exhausted by his creative genius. Exhausted by his anger. I’m sure you can’t imagine why I was drawn in, right? 😛
So yes, I have a Max. And yes, I’m constantly exhausted. I wanted to hug this fictional mother. To hold her up. To cry with her. When she hugged Max, I wanted to hug him until the craziness left his body. Hug him into the ground so he could just hold still for a moment. That might actually be called smothering, so as you can see it’s a fine line what I want to do to my Max (otherwise know as Evan). There is one scene in the movie where Max jumps on to the counter and won’t get down.
And I swear to you the next day when we were at our friend’s house Evan hopped up on the coffee table and did this very thing. And I think I had that same look on my face. Luckily the coffee table is much lower to the ground, and she is much easier than Max is to remove. At least at this point. Give her a few years. All that I could think at that moment was “I have a Max, and I have no idea what to do with her”. The anger, the passion, the drama. All of it. It puzzles me daily how so much strong emotion could be bottled up in one quizzical three year old.
To my wild thing: I hope that I can find a way to hug you without taming the wild streak that makes Evan. I hope you will continue to dream, entertain, and charm. I also hope you will find a way to deal with YOUR beasts, so you can experience some calmness in your life. So both of us can.