Sunday, July 5, 2015

A deep lesson from Inside Out

A couple of weeks ago, when Inside Out was released, we took the boys to the movies to check it out. We had a fabulous time (Pixar hit it out of the park once more) and really enjoyed it.

The next day was the boys' swimming lessons - Logan was feeling a little down and didn't want to play in the pool after their lesson.  So, he sat out on the side with me as we both watched Callum play.

While we sat there, Logan had a few questions about the movie we saw the day before that he decided to ask me about.

 **** SPOILER ALERT ****

If you haven't seen the movie yet (seriously, why not?!), and you don't like spoiler alerts, then stop reading now! :)

 **** SPOILER ALERT ****

Riley, a young girl, has a wonderful life but finds herself (with her family) suddenly moving across the country (for her father's new job).  Her emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger) find themselves trying to figure out, and manage, this new territory of Riley's experiences.

But, it's clear as the movie progresses, that Riley is sad, as Sadness keeps slipping in to "take over" her emotions.  Joy tries to keep things positive, by telling Sadness to stay away (in her own circle), but it doesn't quite work.  Soon, we find Sadness touching some of Riley's hardcore memories (those milestone memories which create various islands, like family and friends and silly islands, all which define Riley's personality) and turning them blue.

This happened a number of times throughout the movie as Joy and Sadness journeyed together through Riley's mind (trying to find their way back to headquarters). What puzzled Logan was how a good, happy, hardcore memory could also be sad (or, a rainbow of emotions, as we learned later in the movie).  

Mom, shouldn't a happy hardcore memory only be yellow? Why did some of her memories turn blue?

It opened up a deeper discussion between the two of us on how that could actually happen.

I've said it often, that I believe Callum's diagnosis is, in a lot of ways, harder for Logan to cope with, than Callum.  Callum certainly has a tough physical fight on his hands - but he was so young when he was first diagnosed that I really don't think he will remember much of those first days, and months, that were so traumatizing to him, and all of us.

Logan, however, was old enough then, that he may remember it later.  I'm very sensitive to that, and want to make sure that we have a solid relationship where he can feel comfortable talking about it with us at any time.

So, I asked him, when we found out that Callum had cancer, if he thought that was a hardcore memory?  Was it something that changed our personalities, who we all were?

He said yes.

So, we decided to test Pixar's theory out.  

Was the hardcore memory of Callum's diagnosis blue (Sadness)?  Yes.
Was it red (Anger)?  Yes.
How about purple - were we afraid?  Yes.
And were we green with Disgust?  Yes.

So, that one memory, had many different colors/emotions, within it, right?  Yes!  He was starting to get it.

And Callum even had some yellow (Joy) Mom!

Oh? Why do you think that?

Well, anytime he has to go to the hospital he gets to play on his iPad, and watch as many movies as he wants, and everyone gives him a lot of toys.  All of that makes him happy.

Yes, it probably does.

How about us, do we have any yellow in that hardcore memory?

Logan didn't think so.  Only for Callum, he stated. 

But, Jon later pointed out, after I recounted my conversation with Logan to him, that we probably did have some yellow too, and he's right!  Since, we were happy Callum's leukemia hadn't traveled to his spinal fluid, and that he had been reclassified as Low Risk.  Of course, Logan probably didn't realize that small nuance (then, nor even now), but it certainly furthered the point that a hardcore memory could be a rainbow of emotions, and we are living proof of it.

Inside Out truly was an amazing film - probably one of Pixar's films that lands more in the adult camp than for kids, to be quite honest.  It's very emotional and touching.  It's fun, funny, sad, and breathtaking.  The boys enjoyed it - and after my talk with Logan, I think he even grasped some of its more meaningful messaging.

Pixar for the win, once again.  ;-)

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