Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why I bawled through the new Planet of the Apes

Not just teary little trickles either. 
We're talking face on fire, trying not to audible sob, end of Toy Story 3 kinda cry.
Oh you didn't cry at the end of Toy Story 3? Heartless.

Okay, back to me trying to wipe my soggy face on my husband's shoulder in a movie that I'm pretty sure wasn't meant to be a tear jerker.

First of all, I have friends that can't trust themselves in pet stores. Well, I think if they have chimpanzee I'd be in the same boat. Little orphaned Caesar pretty much got my maternal ball of emotion going, and it just didn't stop! Baby Caesar made me think of Levi (albeit a slightly less chunky version... the ever-eating panda baby in Kungfu 2, was defiantly a more striking resemblance). The young, eager to learn Caesar reminded me of McKye. And the underestimated Caesar, who eventually "rises" reminded me of Aaron.

What can I say. It just had some very strong themes, that resinated with me.

(My husband laughs at me. I ask him how a movie was and his standard answers vary from "Good." to "It was alright.")

Themes like Potential, Acceptance, Belonging, perceptions of and  implications of Intelligence, our desire for security against our need for growth and independence...shall I go on?

Anyways, it was a bawl fest.

Maybe the flood gates at been tapped earlier though. 


An ed student from the U of L, helping to right a book on kids with Autism in Physical Education, needed a crazy amount of hours observing ASD kids. She had observed a few swim lessons of  Aaron's and just needed a few more, so she came over to the house yesterday morning for a bit. 

Aaron was himself. Running. Jumping. Laughing. Sneaking in random hugs. Eyeing the new pony tail in the room. 

We did a fairly typical morning of therapy: puzzles, letters, songs, signs, redirecting, reinforcing...cheezies, always lots of cheezies. 

During her observation, this young student made one comment that I will never forget. A comment she could never realize just how much it meant. 

She explained how in getting her hours, she had observed probably 30-40 ASD kids.
"I've never seen another kid so full of joy."

Lots of people have commented on Aaron's happiness before. I mean come on, he laughs and squeals, and runs pretty much 98.8% of the time. But I think I always wondered.  
Aaron giggles with delight as he switches on and off alight switch and people make comments like, "Oh if only we could all be as happy with the simple things in life."
And yes those simple things are great, but often because they offer contrast to the complexities of life. Subtle, glorious nuances of human existence that allude innocence, and require experience to truly comprehend. Life.

I worried that Aaron's "happiness" was really an elaborate protection, a series of coping mechanisms shielding him from things he didn't understand and therefore just can't deal with. If he found safety and security in watching his own hand open and close a hundred time. If he just wants something in his life to be within his realm of control.  

If he longs for a window in his cage. Yes, this is why I sat in the theater crying. 

My husband, on the other hand is very convinced of that Aaron in content. Huh. I just realized we probably both very much project our own personality onto Aaron. Ben is a very content guy, very little expectation, roll with the punches guy. I'm much more high-strung, analyse the crap out of everything, feel everything, worry about everything girl (obviously).
I wondered about the degree of Aaron's happiness, his potential and capacity to take in this life with it's meaning-giving contrasts.

I think it was because she used the word Joy. Oh the power of semantics.

And really what happened in that moment?
 The Spirit testified to me that she was right. 

Sure he experiences frustration and challenge with his disability, and sure maybe his sources of happiness can be a little different,  but deep-down and over-all he is happy. 

And for the first time, I really believed it. 

"Caeser is home." 

"Aaron is home." 
Aaron is happy.  
Aaron is where he is suppose to be. 
And we are all experiencing 
exactly what we are meant to. 

Jeepers...ya think a girl could just go to the movies for once and not have some overwhelming, emotional realization!  Gee nope. (You should here my Toy Story 3 rant)


Jennifer Yanos said...Best Blogger Tips

That is fantastic! I just have to say I totally BAWLED at toy story 3 and Michael mocked me like crazy! I just thought it was because I was pregnant, but you make me feel justified!

Rachel said...Best Blogger Tips

Chelsea I love you! My husband is a hard core planet of the apes fan,and was excited you were so moved by the new movie.

Chelsea Belle said...Best Blogger Tips

Rachel, I love you too! I was "giving in" to go see it with Ben, and I ended up liking it more than him.

And Jen, Toy Story 3..not only did I cry in the theater, I cry EVERY TIME I see the closing scene where Andy give his toys away. It totally makes me think of heavenly Father giving us his children, trying to tell us all about them, what makes them special, so we'll take good care of them.

Gets me every time.