And Teagan, displaying just how closely she has been paying attention, gets excited and says "Look! It's what he was building when he made that mess, Mommy!" So we all snuggled up on the floor- Mommy, Daddy, Teagan, and Zach- and watched the rest of the movie. We answered all of Teagan's questions... about the music playing, about the aliens and why they look weird... we did our best to put things into terms she would understand. I compared the aliens to animals like cats and dogs. We watched as the aliens selected Richard Dreyfuss to come aboard the ship and join them. Teagan delighted as the little child like greys held his hands and gathered around to touch and embrace him. We watched the hand signals. We explained the people coming back, the little boy returning to his mom. Then the credits rolled. And the spaceship lifted back into the sky. And it lifted up into the stars, getting smaller and smaller until it... *blip*... vanished into the starry night sky. I turn off the TV (it is now bedtime) and turn around to a very sad faced Teagan. In my head, I'm thinking she is upset because she wants to keep watching TV. Nope. Any sci-fi fans are about to swell with pride and fully understand what an incredible moment this is for her sci-fi geek dad... I say "Honey, why are you so sad? What's wrong?" Teagan: "I want the aliens to come back. I miss them!" So Teagan has decided that if the aliens ever come back, we need to invite them to stay with us. She even bundled up a blanket at the foot of her bed last night so that if any aliens came to Earth, they would have a cozy spot in her bed. She also decided that if the spaceship comes to out house and they want to talk to her, we would all go on the spaceship, the whole family, so that we could all be together and so the aliens would have someone to talk to who understood them. You know... part of me is so excited for Jeff because this is an opportunity to open the door to all things sci-fi (at a careful and slow pace, of course). But for me, this goes beyond sci-fi. This was a demonstration in my daughter's compassion, in her connection to other living beings (even if they were made up), in her ability to feel what something or someone else was feeling. Aliens showed me my daughter's humanity.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Close Encounters of the Teagan Kind
So my audience base is still really small and I am horribly impatient. So I'm calling off the contest (so much for giving away a dream vacation...) and am just going to give away the answer myself! It's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Classic Spielberg. Classic film. If you aren't familiar with it, you must see it. Truly. Must. Or, you can wuss out and read about it on Wikipedia. But you really should watch it. And if you haven't seen it in a long time, consider cracking it open this Halloween season! So Jeff flipped it on yesterday. It was playing on some commercial free cable channel. Kids and I had been in the other room when he turned it on. Then kids and I come into the room and kids are ignoring the TV so we leave it on. Then Teagan starts to watch the movie. I have to admit to being hesitant at first. She doesn't handle spooky well at all. If something has even a hint of spooky, she wants nothing to do with it. She started paying attention to the scene where little Barry is "kidnapped" by the aliens. Again, I am watching with great concern. I don't want to make her feel scared or make her think there is something to be scared of. But she is watching little Barry- and he isn't scared. Remember? The appliances are operating themselves, the grates are unscrewing themselves, the mom is freaking out, trying to shut and lock everything... and little Barry crawls out the doggie door and disappears. Scary scene- mom is screaming and scared senseless (as any of us would be), it is dark and there are weird lights and happenings. Teagan asks us what is going on. Daddy carefully explains, in a very upbeat way, that the little boy just wants to talk to the aliens because he can understand them and not many others can. Daddy explains that it is kind of like Zach- he grunts and screeches and makes noise but we can't really understand him yet and sometimes he gets frustrated that we can't understand what he is trying to tell us. The aliens are feeling the same way and they just want to talk to Barry and Barry wants to go talk to them. Teagan continues to watch with great interest. She can't get enough. She watches as Richard Dreyfuss builds models of that mountain- in his mashed potatoes, in his living room. We missed a chunk of the movie- where the people in Indiana actually make their way to Wyoming. We were out on our walk after Zach's fall for that part of the movie. But we were back in time to see Barry's mom and Dreyfuss on Devils Tower National Monument. And to see that famous scene where the spaceship rises up from behind Devils Tower...