We have an all in one computer that we have used as our TV for years now. A neighbor gave it to us when he upgraded. The kids do homework on it, though we also have a laptop computer for that, and we stream movies or watch regular TV on it. It has been a great space saver for our small house.
I cleaned and rearranged a couple of weeks ago and this time decided to put the TV away. It’s kind of on the blink at the moment, something about the display driver, sometimes the screen freezes when streaming a show or it goes completely black and the whole computer needs to be restarted. I was probably relying on it too much anyway, 3 year old ~P is of that age that the more television he watches the more he wants and when it is time to turn it off he morphs into the Tasmanian Devil.
So I put it in the closet. The kids surprisingly really didn’t say much about it.
We took it out yesterday afternoon. I was the one to suggest it. After a busy vacation where we caught up on children’s birthday celebrations with friends (3 kids checked off), visited family, a museum, made it to the doctors and the dentist, some boys tried out their baking muscles in our kitchen making pancakes, cake, and crackers, and we used a gift card to have a rare family dinner out (we went to a local steak house). We also had periods of down time through out the week where kids were alternately happy and cranky.
By yesterday afternoon I just wanted to take a mental break. Before I could do that though I had to empty the laundry basket in the hall that blocks the closet door to reach the TV nestled inside, then I could set it up in the living room.
I made sure to let the boys know I was choosing the movie.
I chose Little Women. It is free on Amazon Prime at the moment. I saw it years ago when it came out (the 1994 Winona Ryder version). My vivid memories though are of reading the book by Louisa May Alcott years ago as a preteen. I loved it. It was probably the first time I experienced the ache of when a great book ends and you have to leave a whole world for good. It takes a little while to accept it, but eventually you close the cover, and move on.
Memories of that bustling family that made much from little and put God and caring for others at the center stayed with me though.
I wondered if the boys would be able to relate to a story that had so many main characters that are young females, but I yearned to rest in this story yesterday and visit those early feelings again. I just hoped it would translate for my boys.
I love it when the boys enjoy a good slow movie with me, one where you really have to pay attention and feel what is going on.
There were nods of understanding when Joe screamed and yelled and jumped on Amy when Amy had spitefully burned some of Joe’s writing in the hearth and admiration when the girls selflessly gave their Christmas breakfast to neighbors who had even less. I think they got a kick out of seeing the sisters acting out Joe’s plays up in the attic and one of the boys turned to me excited and full of kind joy when Laurie’s Uncle gave Beth who was weak from her near fatal bout with scarlet fever (that she contracted while helping those less fortunate neighbors) the grand piano he owned and that Beth had always admired.
Even though the details of the March girls lives were different from my sons lives (no dresses or worries about burning your sisters hair with a curling iron), the heart was the same. There were a bunch of siblings all the same gender living under one roof with varied personalities, irritating and loving one another.
I think it was good for them to see these girls become women and move on in their lives. There were wonderful seeds planted about changes that might take place in their own future lives. Ideas of moving far from home (or not), the unexpected gifts the future may bring (think instead of Joe traveling the world with Aunt March as she had wanted, but inheriting Aunt March’s house instead, the perfect place for Joe to start a school), and that life can still be good after tragedy, even the death of someone you love very much.
This time when the story ended, I didn’t ache for the bustling family that made much from little and put God and caring for others at the center. I’ve got my own little men bustling about and reminding me on a daily basis that no matter what trials we may face, God is good.