Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shutter Island will forever haunt me

I've loved every minute of having my family visit. When Dana suggested going to a late movie and seeing Shutter Island, I had two misgivings. First of all, it was a 9:40pm movie. I am not at all ashamed to admit I was yawning walking into the theater and cannot remember the last time I went to one so late. Second, I like my movies to provide lightness in my life. Go to a movie and come out feeling better or loving your hubby a bit more because the movie reminded you of the romance you just don't have with three kids. I tried to convince Mom and Dana that Valentine's Day would be a MUCH better alternative, but it's 10:20pm start time had even me worried. I gave in.

Don't worry... no spoilers here other than to say it was one of the most haunting movies I've EVER seen. Closing my eyes in the theater was not enough defense to the images and storyline. I truly wish I had not seen it. That's not saying it was bad, I just wish I didn't have it in my mind. There have been a few moments I prayed for two new brain switches. Sometimes I need Off to stop over-processing every moment of my life. And a few times, very few I must admit, I would like an erase button. This was one of those.

Still, the movie actually gave me an epiphany of sorts. My daughter, Jackie (9) and I have been heading down the road to teenage meladrama, and I've been fighting it. I've been upset at all the trepidation and frustration Jackie's been showing about growing up. When she frets about things, I want to tell her to buck up because life only gets harder. Not one of my sweeter Mom moments, but I want her to toughen up and never let someone see her weaknesses. But this movie helped me realize something about myself. I don't like an overdose of reality... EVER. I like to believe that people are basically good (in the big things, sometimes I do believe women are basically combative and self-defeating and men allowed by society to give bare minimums to family and relationships, but I'm overgeneralizing), that given two scenarios of picking between good and evil, good will triumph. And I don't like movies, books, events wanting to change that mindset.

So, I'm going to try and just hug my daughter when she frets and worries; be the protector from the world as long as I can be. It may create a bubble, but isn't that my job? Don't worry, I'll delicately sprinkle affection with some honesty about life, but only at a 9-year-old level. For now anyway.

Thanks Dana. Initially, I wanted to put you in a long headlock with one soft punch to the gut (LOVE YOU!), but now I honestly say thank you. This was more than a movie for me. And, hey, buttered popcorn NEVER hurts.


Spanks said...

I'm still mad at my sister and BFF Heather for making me (short of holding a gun to my head, they made me) see Jacob's Ladder. I understand that Shutter Island is very disturbing. You are much braver than I.

I agree that you need to be the bubble in your kid's life. That bubble only extends as far as the perimeter around your house, there will be plenty of opportunities for them to learn and experience the real world.