Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pondering the Path from Hook

Last night, when we took the boys over to Mark's parent's house before getting ready to go out, we caught the beginning of Hook.
It's such a good movie, I woke up thinking about it this morning and watched it on Netflix.

That was over 2 hours ago.  But it's still on my mind.

My first thought was that this was near the beginning of Robin Williams getting back in touch with his playfulness.  Hook.  Jack.  Jumanji.  All one word titles starring the body of a man and the heart of a child.  A reminder to all of us who've grown to find the play and use our imagination.

But then I was wondering about the lost boys.

This came out over 20 years ago.  They're all MY age.  What are they doing now?  Or have they become lost within the millions of people who are no longer pursuing the dreams of their youth?  If you actually click the link under the image above, you'll see that most of them haven't gone on to acting.

But if you're like me, you'll -also- notice that Dustin Hoffman's son is in this movie.

And then I was thinking about Will Smith and his son in The Pursuit of Happyness.

And I was wondering-- is this a case of fathers sharing their dreams with their children-- or their children latching on to what they know their parents love as a way to connect with them?

And why can't it be both?

And then, as these types of musings often do, I turned back to my own life.

I like to consider myself fairly handy at crafts and arts.  I have such picture clear memories of my Mother.  My Grandmother.

I can't be more than 5 and Grandma Betty has pulled a large roll brown paper out and stretched it across the  kitchen floor.  I remember enjoying the rustle of the paper as it was unfurled.  The crisp, clean sound of the scissors cutting it.  The excitement of a huge, new, unmarked piece.  It took up almost the length of the kitchen.  And drawing farm animals.  I drew a pink pig with a curly tail.  Grandma Betty was working on a barn.  And we filled it out, laying on the floor, sometimes draped across that massive paper.  Sometimes I would have questions, "What does a horse look like?"  "How do I draw a chicken?"  And Grandma Betty would lean over and answer-- to guide my hand with her words.  Or sometimes, she would draw one while I watched, then I would draw in more.

Then I'm 7.  My mother sends me to school with notes in my lunch box that tell me that she loves me and are covered in smiley faces.  And she draws the most amazing cartoon horses in profile.  I ask her to show me how-- and she does.  She draws the lines so smoothly!  So confidently!  My mother knows how to draw, and I am so proud of her for this.  And then she teaches me about the eye.  This is where the horse I had tried to draw was so very off from hers.  The pinpoint I couldn't find, but that I knew was somehow wrong.  I had drawn my eye like a persons as seen from the front.  But eyes don't look like that seen from the side.  Not only did my mother show me how to draw it--but she also turned her head and had me look at her eye. In this moment, my mother taught me how to -see-.

I'm no older than 8.  We've come back to visit with my Grandparents.  Grandma Betty has a wonderful buffet in her dining room.  And contained within it are a vast assortment of wonderful coloring books and tins of crayons.  She only has so many coloring books.  And Erin and I want to color the same page.  And so we are introduced to both patience and tracing paper.  We were never allowed to color directly in these wonderful coloring books-- only to trace out the image that we wanted-- and to color our tracings.  More practice in seeing.  More confidence in drawing the lines.  And the opportunity for another lesson, when I want to make my person tan like me.  But it's the early 80s.  Crayons and Barbie Dolls don't come in that color yet.  And my Grandma Betty teaches me how to make my own skin tones by layering other colors.

In all this assortment, there are memories of my mother teaching me to cross stitch.  Learning to read music and play the Entertainer on the piano in Grandma Betty's basement.  Listening to tape recordings from previous visits where Grandma Betty recorded me telling stories.  Singing with my mother.  Learning how to crochet.  Sewing my first pillow.  Or even desperately trying to figure out fractions while my mother is cooking dinner-- and her dividing pies and fruit and vegetables to help me understand in a visual way.

But amongst all these fleeting memories from my past are interspersed memories of my own children.  I briefly wonder if they love art for the joy it brings them or because they know how much I enjoy it?  And just as quickly as the thought comes, it's surpassed by the thought that it may have started as the later, but has clearly become the former.

And that thought makes me happy.  And it makes me more than ready to pick my darling boys up from their sleep over from their Grandparents.

Where I know that they too are forming bonds and memories that someday they will also ponder.  Perhaps after watching a movie much like Hook.

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