I felt a really over whelming sadness the other day when I say doing some work in the office and Edie had Disney’s Inside Out on in the back ground to entertain her (hey, don’t judge me, she likes the bright colours!)
The sadness came because I started to listen to the story whilst I typed and it struck me that every day my children grow, change and forget parts of their personalities that I adore. In one of the scenes the main character’s (Riley) Dad is tickling her and whereas she would normally laugh and join in (indulging the “goof ball” side of her personality, which in the movie is represented by an island – that eventually crumbles and falls into the abyss) she just stops and looks at him. It’s the last time he will ever do this with her and it effectively ends that part of her relationship with her father, giving way to a new chapter.
Pretty sad when you think about it because it’s coming for all of us. At the moment we are big goofballs in our house, we run around, scream, tickle and just generally mess about a tonne, but one day the boys won’t want to do that and they will out grow it. They’ll out grow every aspect of themselves as they are now. I hate that thought but it’s inevitable isn’t it?
I guess it’s not all doom and gloom, they might out grow their current personalities but the fundamentals will hopefully stick around – Reuben’s sensitive side, Toby’s cheek and Edith’s determination are things that I can’t see going anywhere but rather growing with them and developing. From my perspective it’s more about how little they will need and want us as they grow into teens. We often say that as teens and young adults we think our parents don’t know anything and are just generally pains in our arses trying to tell us who to be. It’s all about the teen angst, maaaannn. I guess this really just struck me because it draws such a parallel to our own family dynamic and playfulness.
I’m not a fan of the unknown – I’m a planner, I like to know what I am doing and how things are going in my world but parenting has been one big challenge to that. You never know what the next day will hold, or month or even year. You just never know. I have to ask now, what will go in place of Goofball island in our kids? Will they replace it with thoughts of fashion, a sport or maybe a love interest? What’s going to top trump our playtime?
Another part of the film that really strikes me (and I promise I’m almost done here) is the grief that her leading emotion Joy feels over the passing of time. When we are little we feel so much joy (if we’re lucky) and we find it in the smallest of places, but as we grow everything becomes so much more complex. Eventually “Joy” and “Sadness” started to work together to build parts of Riley’s character because as we grow we become able to feel a variety of emotions at the same time and they form a deeper side to us. Am I going to be able to keep up with that? That mix of emotion?
I guess only time will tell.
If you haven’t watched Inside Out with the kids (or by yourself after they are in bed – no judgement) you need to. Just be prepared to explain to them why you keep stroking their hair or spontaneously bursting into tears, ok?