As I filled in my forms for our cover school for next year I could not believe I will only have 2 students. Emily will graduate at the end of this year and then it will just be Andrew, Alex and me. A couple years ago I did an experiment during MT. I asked each child to leave the room, one at a time, according to age until it was just me and Alex and also I started to cry and Alex didn't look too happy either. And here we are. I swear this happened so quickly I can hardly catch my breath. I say this because I absolutely remember when it seemed like the years stretched before me endlessly. They don't. In 6 years my career as a homeschooling mother will end. Of course, I will be super old. Maybe I will get a Lifestyle Lift (I have found I am susceptible to commercials) and do something rebellious like go to Europe. Nah. I will do something fun. I will visit my grandchildren.
We went to two movies over the holidays. The Hobbit and Les Miserables. We had heard lots of bad things about The Hobbit so we were all pleasantly surprised to enjoy it and the time went by very quickly. I could have done without the big, white orc, but otherwise, I thought it was excellent. I could not figure out how they were going to turn it into a trilogy but now I do. The goblin scenes looked exactly like how I imagined the goblins and their cave in George MacDonald's books The Princess and Curdie and The Princess and the Goblin. They felt familiar. And Thorin Oakenshield was excellently cast. Richard Armitage is one handsome dwarf, if that is even possible. I loved the earthy portrayal of nobility that Tolkien gives us in Thorin.
Emily and I had the opposite experience with Les Mis. We had heard tons of great reviews. We really thought we would love it and we did love a scene here and a scene there. I am not generally a fan of Anne Hathaway but she nailed Fantine and I can see her getting an Oscar for her performance, but otherwise it just felt a bit boring, a bit long. I suppose if we had been familiar with the songs it would have been more enjoyable for us. I know that Les Mis is a great story of redemption but I always feel it is missing something key and maybe Emily understood that when she said she felt that Val Jean never really felt he needed repentance or at least there was always this underlying theme that he had only responded to his circumstances and therefore he was not really guilty of anything. And then there is Javier. I get that he represented the absence of grace or the LAW but I would have enjoyed a story of his redemption. He did realize that he had done wrongly. Why suicide when the heart was repentant? Perhaps Russell Crowe did too good of a job of making him conflicted. OR maybe Emily and I were just way too tired and stressed to enjoy such a long movie.
Andrew Kern had some interesting thoughts on the value of watching a movie that portrays the wages of sin. He says, quite controversially,"If you let your daughter watch the Little Mermaid, please let her watch this too. Yes, this is a mature theme. But so, if you haven’t noticed, is The Little Mermaid. The difference is authenticity."
Read his post AND the comments for an interesting discussion. I did take my 17 yo daughter to see Les Mis and she has never seen The Little Mermaid and I did want to avert my own eyes during one scene. Not because it was perverse but because it so deftly depicted the tragedy of sin. We live in a world of ugly images and yet often those images are aimed at our lowest desires. We cannot replace those images with images of prettiness still appealing to our lowest desires and get away with it. Beauty is not always pretty. Truth is beauty and beauty truth. The closer we come to truth the closer we will be to understanding whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely. I could elaborate more but it is hard to find the words. Maybe we can talk about it in the comments.
Stay tuned in the next few days for my end of the year reading and watching posts. And here is a picture that just cracks me up.