Where the Wild Thing Is

Last week I went to see "Where the Wild Things Are," the movie adaptation of Maurice Sendak's book. I thought the movie was sweet and sad, capturing something about how damn hard it can be to be a kid. While I was watching the movie, I had this desperate urge to go get Lucy out of school just to hold her tight.

We've been having a hard time lately. The Major Life Changes of Milo and kindergarten have made her surly and whiny — sometimes angrily independent, other times desperate for our help and attention. She hurls herself at negative consequences, knowing better, but unable to stop herself.

As a result, I have to admit to not liking her very much. That's hard to say, but true. I'm exhausted, frustrated and mad. When it's time for her to come home in the afternoon, I steel myself: what kind of Wild Thing will we have on our hands?

Yet watching this movie has helped me remember how hard this must all be for her. She's a five-year-old whose life has been turned upside down. She's at the mercy of two tired, distracted adults. We are all adjusting to this new us, but the adults have better coping mechanisms and are in charge of the television. Poor kid.

So as she roars her terrible roars and gnashes her terrible teeth, I will remind myself to keep the place where somebody loves Lu best of all, where her supper is waiting for her...and it is still hot.