*slight spoiler alert*
Last Monday we loaded up the crew for a fun-filled day of eating out and blowing through a movie theater gift card like it was nothing. We splurged (cause it was paid for) to see Toy Story 3 in 3D. Everyone was thrilled. We looked like dorks in our Buddy Holly glasses. We ate a big lunch so as not to spend a dime on the made-of-gold-priced concessions.
It was a Moers Holiday Extravaganza!
The movie really was great, except for the part where the big, mean bear's story was revealed, and music swelled as we learned he was ABANDONED on the side of the road and easily REPLACED by another, newer bear and had remained BITTER AND ANGRY ever since and continued to be a hurt person that HURT OTHERS.
In that moment, I saw the next few days flashing before my eyes.
I purposefully had some discussions with my children who came to us through adoption the following morning, about adoption in general. I knew their hearts may be sensitive. One started to act out. At some point I do recall getting the "I HATE YOU!" and a slamming door. They came back in within about an hour and immediately told me what it was, and very clearly stated the above scene and why it hurt them so much to watch it.
And what did I do? I actually thought that might be it. I actually bopped along today, assuming the discussions we had were all that they needed.
Oh, my stupidity even amazes ME sometimes.
By dinner time, another child was in all-out, "Please notice I'm acting out!" mode. So, I did. I noticed. There was much slamming of doors and one broken glass and plenty of other things thrown around (we'll assess any more damages tomorrow). This other child could NOT come in and describe the above scene. Not even close. So, I decided to help out gently, "Honey, if you're feeling a little more calm, would you like to talk about the movie?"
Stupid, Christine. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I could see this had thrown them into Backward World. What I should have said immediately was, "I bet you really hated the part with the bear, huh?" I finally did. Much later. Michael and I finally just sat in some lawn chairs outside where they had been throwing bottles and smashing up an old toilet.
"You are starting to cross some safety lines. Would you like to have a hug?"
"Feels like maybe we are ootching toward a restraint, so you can have some touch?"
"Would you like to hold my hand?"
"Could I just make kissy faces at you?"
Boom. Totally got a smile.
More talking and finally just saying the words for them ... and we were done with the tirade. Michael shared a lot of examples of people we know who also hurt over their situation, their adoptions, their family structure. Emphasized that they is not the only one, and that they are loved, but that doesn't change the fact that their situation is very, very painful.
Then we came inside. They cleaned up the broken glass. Gave me $2 to replace it. Gave us our kisses and hugs and went to bed.
Now, the reality of our situation is that this movie certainly was a trigger for our kids. However, both of them verbalized how they want to see movies, even when there are themes that may take some processing for them. We are at a point in their healing where we are guiding them to do that more on their own. We are exposing them to more things and then working through it together.
So, okay. I'm not totally mad at Pixar. In fact, I'm wondering if a bunch of you have been blogging warnings about the MAJOR abandonment issues in that flick, and I had my head stuck up my butt. We would have seen it anyway, but the discussion would have started BEFORE the movie. Once we have already seen it, and the trigger has occurred, it is much more difficult to have the conversation.
I've still got one more kid who may need to blow tomorrow. We'll see ...
Stupid, stupid, stupid.