Posted by: alegra22 | March 16, 2014

conversations with my firstborn


Tonight Sol and I watched the movie Legend together. In the beginning, I had to keep pausing the movie and discussing, scene by scene, what he thought was happening versus what I believed was happening. Half an hour into the movie, we were following the same storyline but it took some deep breaths on my part, some leaps of faith, and I couldn’t help but see the parallel between the discussion occurring between us and the themes of the movie.

It started something like this:
Sol, “Why did she touch the unicorn? I think she should be punished.”
Me, “She touched the unicorn because she is young and testing her limits. Jack is the one that led her to unicorn, so he is equally responsible. The unicorn came to her because she was pure of heart.  Jack is a young boy trying to impress the girl he is in love with; this is a story about learning the power of consequence, responsibility, and transforming from being a boy and a girl into a man and a woman.”
Sol, “I think you’re just saying that because you’re a woman. I think it was Lily’s fault.”
Me, taking a deep breath, “Okay, but just watch. This is very much like the story of Adam and Eve. It is about how men and women need to work together. Jack brought Lily to the unicorns but didn’t explain to her the rules. Lily saw the unicorns and was overcome by the desire to touch one and she didn’t listen to Jack but Jack didn’t stop her. They have both made a mistake and this movie is about taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Sol, “Yes, but I still don’t like the girl.”
Me, “That’s okay. But she isn’t the one to blame. They’re learning a lesson together.”

Halfway through the movie:
Me, “Do you understand what ‘temptation’ means?”
Sol explains it to me and I confirm his understanding, “Yes, so you see, this movie is about how temptation comes at us when we are afraid and doubting ourselves and those that love us. This movie is about learning how to be brave through our mistakes and when we give into temptations over our better knowings. Both Jack and Lily made a mistake and they’re both trying to fix it. Neither are wrong or right.”
Sol, “So Jack is powerful with his muscles but Jill is powerful through her mind?”
Me, “They are both powerful through their minds and bodies, just in different ways. They have to trust themselves and trust one another in order to save the magic in the world.”
Sol sighs, “Yeah, I’m still annoyed at Lily for touching the unicorn.”
Me, “I know, but Jack brought her to the unicorn because he was showing off.”
Sol, “This is how I’ve always imagined the devil. With big horns. Also, he has a chin that looks like a butt.”
Me, “Of course fear and temptation would appear powerful and charming. And yes, his chin looks like a butt.”
Sol, “He isn’t attractive at all.”
Me, “I agree. But he’s powerful and scary.”
Sol, “So why does he need Lily?”
Me, “Because her love for Jack is powerful and he can’t control it. So watch, she’ll pretend to be giving him what he needs, and then she will put herself in danger. It is  more important for her to protect the goodness in the world than protect her own life. That is the lesson both Jack and Lily learn before they can become a man and woman that choose one another.”
Sol, “That’s hard.”
Me, “Yep, it is. And they can’t do it alone.”
Sol, “Yeah, they need all of those forest people.”
Me, “Exactly. We protect one another by believing in one another.”
Sol, “This movie went by really fast and I wasn’t scared at all.”
Me, “Good, I’m glad.”

Dan comes in and the wave of bedtime rituals ushers us onwards.
Me to Sol, hoping to review the highlights of our conversation, “So, what did you learn from the movie?”
Sol, “I’d never let a girl touch a unicorn and I’d fight the goblins with my sword in the beginning.”
Me, “Cool. Get some sleep.”

I know the conversation will continue.
But for now?
It is time to sleep and dream.



  1. You’re are a very, very patient mother. To have such patience and willingness to stop the film during the first viewing is a gutsy move too. As a media teacher I FORCE them to watch it all the way through before watching it all over again…but thats teenage kids 🙂 Much love.

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