Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ramona Quimby or creativity and parenting (NFTD #31)

Today I was allowed the great privladge of taking a nine year old to see the new version of "Ramona & Beezus". And all I can say is THANK YOU! It was such a great production of this story all the elements were creatively, well done and perfect.

First of all I have a long personal history with Beverly Cleary's books. When I was growing up my grandparents lived two streets away from Klickitat street in NE Portland. Everytime we would go over there (at least once a week) taking a walk around the neighborhood was a must do. I am pretty sure that I actually trick or treated several years on that well know literary street. And of course as most Portland daughters have done since the books came out, I devoured them and wanted to so badly to be one of the characters in the book. We also watched the Canadian made versions as children. I was always more Beezus like than Ramona. And then when I was in high school I got to assistant direct our production of "Ramona & Beezus".

There has always been something special about these books, really all of Beverly Cleary's books, that captures life well. As I watched the movie I was struck by how balanced the parent and other adult characters are. I loved how the parents encouraged and celebrated Ramona's unique view of the world...she is a child who is seen in her creativity and unique out look on life. Especially Mr, Quimby, delights in wonder of Ramona's way of seeing the world. Sitting in the theatre watching this delightful and honest portrayal of parenting for the first time in a really long time made me really desirous for a child (not now but eventually). It inspired me to remember the good of my childhood and see a future where I would want to create a space for that kind of exploration and creativity in a child of my own. Having spent the last seven years raising other people's children has taken away for me a lot of the desire to have children...I want to do something with my life before I have to give it up again. I love children but being with them day in and day out while a blessing is not what I want to or feel I am best at giving the world. In addition because of all the suffering and painful incidents in my life I struggle with seeing good in the world. This leads to a fear of raising a child in such a place where I can loose and watch the suffering of those who I love. And as if all of that was not enough I somehow went through childhood with out feeling safe or balanced. As an adult I struggle with entering life from a place of balance and rooting. All of this makes me scared to have a child because I don't want to pass along those those fears or lack of faith. Yet while watching the movie I had a sense of peace about the whole idea...this little voice in my heart was saying "yes, i do want to be a mother and inspire creativity and beauty in my child". In addition it might have been the chance to spend the day with a child who was excited in sharing this adventure. Whatever the reason I was blessed to have this experience.

And HIGHLY suggest you all seeing it.

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