Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Getting Into the Spirit of Things

My son Justin is such a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary Seattle winter. He's polite and empathetic to others. He's very funny and witty. He's my gift three-hundred and sixty-five days a year, like Christmas in July and Halloween candy at suppertime. He lost two baby teeth last night! I don't think he has any left to lose. He turns ten-years-old in a month, and he is already standing tall at five feet and two inches. He's had a great year at school. Now that he's matured a little, no one is clamoring to put him on ADD meds. Really people! Let boys be boys and kids be kids!

We had a great weekend celebrating the holidays in our small father and son fashion. Friday night we watched "Miracle on 34th Street"; the original with a very young Natalie Wood and the ever-vivacious Maureen O'Hara as the moppet's mother. Edmund Gwen is Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus and steals every scene he is in. Justin was recounting his favorite scenes and characters to me the next day. He is always sure to point out the bad guy in every film, or ask, "is that the bad guy?" if he's not sure. I prefer it when it's not so clear -- more like real life -- but it can be confusing to a young person.

Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwen in "Miracle on 34th Street"
On Saturday night, we watched "A Christmas Carol." It was a TV movie version from 1999, starring Patrick Stewart as Ebeneezer Scrooge and Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit. The part of fragile Tiny Tim is played by Lavar Burton sans visor. (Star Trek humor) He also commented the the actor playing the ghost of Christmas past looked transgender. It was Joel Grey. Justin was surprised that it was more of a ghost story than a Christmas story, and at the end, he asked if the appearance of the spirits had all been a dream. They do leave that aspect open in the film, and I said, "Dream or not, it was powerful enough to make him change."

I think, as human beings, we love stories, in which the main character undergoes some sort of transformation, usually from bad-mannered to benevolent, poor to rich, or downtrodden to being on top of the world. We admire these types of stories, because we ourselves find it difficult to change, especially in such a drastic fashion as Mr. Scrooge. Change usually happens in baby steps, although a horrendous tragedy can transform someone overnight, aging them a couple of decades. Being set in one's ways is not just a saying. Our habits and personalities are practically set in stone by the time we're adults. That's why chemicals are often used nudge neurotransmitters in the right direction.

I've often thought that if I were able to view myself in a totally objective fashion I would be shocked and stunned, because the real me would not match my perceived image of myself. Then there is that whole ever-shifting fragility of being thing. There are certainly times when I find it difficult to keep myself together, and that's when I take a walk in the moonlight and connect with my real self, without the trappings of media, politics, judgements, mistakes and wrongful boasts. Sometimes I forget my original face, and forget that I am created of love too.

I am also made of bits of ancient stars, and together all those bits wish you Happy Holidays!
Stay safe and sane.

1 comment:

Dana Gaskin Wenig said...

I love this piece written on my birthday. :)