I have always been a great fan of childhood. I love children's literature, movies, music. All of it. I look back on the entertainment of my childhood with great fondness. I think we children of the 70's feel that we had the last era of technology-free/light entertainment. We lived before videos games and VCR, DVDs, well you get my drift.
I remember loving my records and playing them for hours. My children's lives are too filled with buzz to appreciate records. I have thought of getting rid of the TV and computer, but I like having those things. There are advantages to what they have available as well. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. My point is that I am able to introduce my kids to my records through the car. My step father transferred my records to CD and we have been having a ball. Lily is now in love with Really Rosie. She has the Nutshell collection and follows along with the songs (I used to do that!). We have been dancing all over singing Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, Pierre, and One Was Johnny (boy can I relate to Johnny).
This led me to a computer search on Maurice Sendak (see, can't live without the computer). A great deal has been written about the gritty and violent themes in his books. Parents are horrified, but children love them. I often wonder if I shelter my girls too much. One time I heard Pete Seeger talking about the violence in some folk music. He explained that children are stronger than we think. They understand more and really don't need to be sheltered from things like death and sadness. Is letting my girls read Where The Wild Things worse than letting them play video games? Children seem to be drawn toward violence. They aren't always the sweet happy little things we think they are. They get mad, they think slightly evil thoughts ("I'll eat you up!") and they aren't wrong for that. Maybe if we acknowledge that and address it with them, they can learn to control it sooner.
Sometimes, when no one is watching I try out some of the odd things my kids and students do. Guess what? It feels pretty cool to spin in circle over and over. Shaking your head side to side really does seem to focus you (stop before you get a headache, though). Jumping up and down and yelling really does release a lot of tension. Maybe grown ups need tantrum rooms. Maybe I'm over thinking this. What I am going to do read Where the Wild Things Are to Lily tonight. She is after all so close to Max. I can't wait for the movie to come out. I think I may even look for In The Night Kitchen. Maybe we need to tap into our inner wild things a little more. ROAR!