High drama is necessary

superhero good guys
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

We finished reading “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” the other night and Moomin sighed and said, “Good. That’s over.”

“What???!!! You liked it!”

“Yeah, but it was SO BORING.”

I realized what he meant. He wants superheroes, monsters, Greek gods, lightning bolts, battles against good and evil. Drama. The universe in danger.

“You have big paws.
You will do big things.”

He’s so peaceful, dreamy, and inward-looking that I assume he will like gentle and dreamy books. Yes, but only if there are epic battles in those dreams!

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was also pronounced “good but boring.” Meanwhile, he is deep in the lore of the X-men. In the 90s I watched that cartoon and I remember thinking that it was perfectly aimed towards a little kid’s developmental stage of wanting to understand the battles of good and evil. Why is there evil? Why do bad things happen? What can we do about it? What the heck is going on? In the few minutes of X-men I watched yesterday before I snuck off to eat my dinner at my desk, working, I saw angry villagers with torches shouting at Nightcrawler’s castle. I thought of Frankenstein and felt glad that Moomin has this powerful source of myth to feed into his imagination.

But… the mouse and the motorcycle!

In part I realize that it is my desire for him to be like me, to lie face down on the sidewalk for an hour staring at ants and imagining their point of view as they struggle over the tiny grains of sand in the concrete (boulders for them) with contemplative empathy and yet I also remember moments when I’d put a potato chip on an anthill, wait a bit, and then become an alien attacking from outer space as I turned the hose on them and watched them drown (guiltily, but it was fun.) DRAMA. I was the evil Goddess of Ants.

Here in this photo, we have the Good Guys all lined up for battle. The Bad Guys were elsewhere on an island, getting ready. Wonder Woman (who Moomin likes but gets annoyed with because she can’t stand up on her own), Darth Vader, Aquaman (who also can’t stand up), Purple Wing (mystery purple-haired girl with green wings and stripey tights), Lightning Green Dragon Blade (close relation of the Tapeworm Butt Fairy), an ambulance, and a car with a robotic laser arm driven by Hamtaro.

This is the kind of thing Moomin is thinking when he stands staring into space, whispering to himself. “Hold on! I’m coming!” (Pow! Pshhhhewwwww! *fight noises at whisper volume*) and then the aliens landed and Ralph’s motorcycle transformed into a motorcycle dragon transformer-bot with blasters and laser cannons and they flew into space…

Maybe those dreams are his big paws… and he will do big things with them…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to High drama is necessary