I am certain others have written on this topic, but watching our kids watch “The Empire Strikes Back” and process the decisions facing each of us: to do the right thing, to do the wrong thing; to keep a secret, to reveal a secret; to try to redeem yourself, to be forgiven… It was a beautiful thing.
Our daughter watched Luke in training with Yoda–and could barely get past the scene in which he battles an imagined Darth Vader, only to behead Vader and reveal Vader’s face to be his own.
She had so many questions. I didn’t know what to say other than what I thought:
“It’s just an idea. It’s a picture in his head so that he could understand that we all can do bad things. We all have a choice. Luke got rid of what he believed was bad, the worst thing out there (Darth Vader), but found he got rid of… himself. He fought the bad things inside of himself. He learned that this is the hardest fight, the scariest fight–the fight to do the right thing.”
“Ooooooh!” she exclaimed. She instantly understood what I meant.
And later, after watching Lando try to help Leia and Chewie… “People can still always do a good thing, even if they did a bad thing before.”
I wanted to stop the movie and hug her and kiss her so hard. The Moral Child: She’s right there, in front of us. Alongside her little brother, who finds humor in the failed attempts of Stormtroopers to defeat Chewbacca and C3PO (aka 3PPO, if you’re our son), who repeats quotes, perfectly, matching cadence and tone, from the movie after seeing a scene once (this is the kid who didn’t really start talking till about age 30 months, due to fluid in his ears.).
I’m relishing all this goodness, all this warmth and comfort. It’s been a strange week, and this evening’s family movie night has been the perfect antidote.
The Fourth is with me… at least for one more hour…