Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The Hunger Games in my home
My oldest children have a lot of self-education freedom, particularly when it comes to what they read. All four of them devoured "The Hunger Games" trilogy this spring/summer. They loved it. The girls were the first to tear through it, and then annoyed the boys until they finally caved.
I had downloaded Overdrive for my phone, and was sorely disappointed with my available choices for free downloads via my library. I did go ahead and reserve a few, which had very long waits. One, being "The Hunger Games." I had succumbed to the same fate as the boys. If I didn't read or listen to it soon, their berating was going to make me stark raving mad.
It became available this past week. We had a road trip to make and I was able to listen to the entire book in one weekend. I loved it.
And then, I sat in amazement. You see, it deals with some very (VERY) harsh themes:
utterly inhumane choices
survival and risk
control of an entire population
restriction of resources and information
fear and mistrust
privilege and power
And I could go on! What has truly blown me away is that I cannot tell you when each child finished reading. These are all themes that trigger the pain in the history of my children, and I had no indication that they were even exposed to them.
They worked through this stuff completely on their own. They did it in a healthy way. I'm guessing this was CRAZY difficult for them, but they did it! They absorbed the difficulty and moved forward. They allowed themselves the entertainment and did not let the triggers take that away from them.
I'm sure they were a bit more crabby or sensitive on certain days. I was, too! You can't read some of this stuff without feeling it and internalizing it. It comes out at least SOME, with all of us. They felt it and absorbed it ... normally.
Reading is such a good, safe "practice ground" for the inevitability of life. I love that they can choose to expose themselves to the harsh realities (which reflects their own history), while still in the safety net of the present. They can think through scenarios and make decisions now, before they are facing life as an adult.
They're healing, dang it!