August watched The Iron Giant
and fell in love with robots and once again with the idea of giants. She first heard of giants when we read Jack and the Beanstalk. Last night she told me she saw a giant man. This was her first creative story. She saw him she said and he was nice. I was tickled to death when I heard this. She also said the word, b-o-m-b.
The movie is mine, I loved it when it came out in 1999 so I bought the DVD. I haven't seen it in awhile, probably ten years or so. August had been wanting me to play it for weeks. I had forgotten all about the story. I forgot the entire storyline about guns and bombs and war. So here we were watching The Iron Giant
. "What's a bomb?" I thought of how I grew up knowing about bombs because WWII was only 30 years or so and then Vietnam on the news and Mash
with re-runs during the day and new episodes in the evening, later, Red Dawn
. I forgot that I grew up very much aware and being quite afraid that at some point someone would hit a red button that would end humanity. I started to remember sitting in class and thinking where would I go, who would I miss, how long would I live post A-Bomb. Seeing photos of Hiroshima in school books for the first time I realized my "daymares" weren't so far off. I attended a Catholic school so...praying that a bomb would never go off was just about the only thing I prayed for at mass. Once "the wall" came down, I relaxed and that was that but by then my entire childhood had a bomb in it. How could I forget all that?
So I told August that a bomb was a large, destructive thing. It hurts people and everything people love and it's bad. There was no follow up question and so it ended there.
While at the library this past weekend August said she wanted a book on Hogarth. I looked it up and sure enough, our library had The Iron Man
by Ted Hughes available. I was happy to find that it contained enough pictures to keep August interested. I couldn't wait to read it to her. On the way home she looked at the book, turning the pages with so much excitement, searching the illustrations for Hogarth. Once we got home she fell into her book, unfolding the pull-out pages and talking on and on about Hogarth and the giant robot.
Years from now what I will remember most from this whole Iron Giant phase is that it came along just as August was being weaned. That she fell asleep for the first time without nursing while I read to her from The Iron Man
and she continued to night after night... The beautiful and poetic words of Ted Hughes soothing my little heartache and transitioning us both.