I guess since today is Labor Day, that means that summer is now officially over. Now if only the weather will start reflecting that. Life is still hot, still sunny, still basically wool-less in my wardrobe.
We have had a few more adventures to round out the season. The other day, Little Mister and I went to Happy Hollow zoo – our first time. He enjoyed the animals.
The only live animals he saw were the farm animals. He liked the goats (he was allowed to try to pet them) and the cow (“moo!”), and none of them were frightening this time. None of them made unexpected noises either, so there’s that.
Then we went over to a different area, where they had fair-type rides for small children. He watched some of the kids we were there with riding around on the car carousel (you sit in a car and it goes around a circle; there’s a bell you can ring if you’re feeling wild), and after the first time, he asked “Go go car?” But when I tried to take him over to put him on the ride, he clung to my waist with his legs, as he had clearly changed his mind.
He did, however, manage to do the carousel, which is progress for him. He didn’t laugh but he didn’t cry and cling to me after the ride started. He got nervous beforehand, but I guess I convinced him to stay on, and I think he was glad he did. It probably helped that he rode the giraffe:
which didn’t move up and down. It was a little less uncanny than those other animals, and he was already a fan of giraffes.
The final movie I watched for the summer series this year was The Secret of Roan Inish.
It is in some ways very similar to Song of the Sea as it uses the same realm of water-spirit tales for its magic. Here, though, it is a little girl who must save her younger brother.
Fiona’s family has a long and legendary history on the tiny Irish island of Roan Inish. But World War II necessitates an evacuation from the island, and when Fiona’s mother dies and her brother is lost at sea during the evacuation, the family’s heart is broken and they decide to abandon their home forever.
After a few years, Fiona returns to the coast to stay with her grandparents. Her grandfather and cousins still fish the waters of Roan Inish and long for it, and Fiona is told all the tales until she is fascinated with the island. On her first visit, she sees a mysterious boy living wild on the island, and she is convinced she’s found Jamie, her little brother, alive and being cared for by seals (or, as another family member says, “another branch of the family”). She must convince her family to return to Roan Inish and make it their home again, so that the seals will give back Jamie.
I still think this is a sweet and gentle, but also very interesting story, and it will be fun to watch it with LM some day. It’s another quiet one, and there are long scenes where Fiona is alone on the island and the only sounds are the wind, the sea, and the birds. And this time, it’s because a lot of interpretation needs to be done without the help of dialogue that I would expect to show him this no earlier than around the age of 7 or 8. In some ways, this movie requires the skills necessary for watching silent films: the ability to read the screen, the ability to read the people. I don’t expect him to get everything the first time through, but any younger and I would guess he’d get bored.
So that finishes this summer’s excursions into film planning. While I enjoyed revisiting most of them, I’m a little disappointed that it feels like LM will need to wait longer than I had anticipated for all of these movies. Maybe in the end, he’ll be ready earlier, but as of right now, I’m feeling more protective and conservative about his experiences than I had any idea of before I had an actual (as opposed to an abstract) child to plan to share these movies with. But the boy still has a lot of growing up to do before he’s ready for any of these. For one thing, right now he can’t sit still long enough to make any of this mean anything yet.