Friday, November 28, 2008


This morning we hunkered down, just the four of us, to eat breakfast and watch a movie before heading out for errands, doing laundry, and tidying the house. I put my foot down and insisted we watch The Wizard of Oz...I have waited 9 years for a successful viewing of this 1939 perennial favorite with my kids.
As a child I was enchanted with the film and even though the Wicked Witch of the West was about the scariest thing in the world to me, I loved Dorothy and her crew so much I was willing to be afraid for parts of the movie. When Emma was about three years old I decided it was time for her to go over the rainbow. Anxious to see her afraid, excited, and delighted, I put the movie in and eagerly awaited her reaction. She watched the movie in complete silence until the house landed in Oz and showed the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East under it.

" that a dead witch?" a tiny Emma asked.

"Yes, Emma." I replied.

There was a long pause and Emma finally asked, "Is there another witch in this movie?"

I answered, "Yes there is, Emma"

"Oh good," she replied, "cuz this would be a pretty boring movie if it only had one dead witch."

From that moment on Emma was completely unfazed by the evil Witch of the West, she was neither enchanted nor delighted by the munchkins, the wizard, or the lion. In fact, nearing the end of the film, exasperated, she stood on her feet and started shouting, "Just send her home! She just wants to go home!" The movie ended, she left the room shaking her head in disbelief, and never asked to watch it again.

Determined to have a better experience with Finn, I planned an over the rainbow afternoon for the two of us when he was about five. I didn't get myself excited about seeing Finn afraid of the movie; Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Scooby Doo had already given him a pretty thick skin. I just hoped to enjoy a classic movie with my boy. The movie started and he questioned the whole black and white thing, but I promised him great things were coming up later in the movie, but we never got that far. As Dorothy was running home during the cyclone, Finn became hysterical.

He ran from the room sobbing and wailing, "That girl is going to get blown away. What kind of kids movie is this?"

He refused to return to the room, he never saw Glinda, he never saw the smoke blow out of the tin man's hat, and he did not learn that monkeys can fly.
I gave up on my dream of a perfect Wizard of Oz viewing, but today was pretty close. Emma commented that "seeing Wicked helped her to understand the plot of the movie" and Finn was "pleased today had gone better than the last time he tried to watch it". I would say they bordered on enchanted.

Later in the day I headed down my own yellow brick road of sorts to have margaritas with some friends. So maybe Jules, LB, Ms. B and I aren't Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin man, and Lion, but you can rest assured there was no lack of heart, brains, courage, and love of home at our table tonight!

1 comment:

McGinty Clan said...

very cute, the monkey's got me as a kid.I can see Emma as a 3 yo. She was full of personality. My kids haven't seen it, I don't think. I've been on blog vacation...being as lazy as can be.

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