Thursday, September 8, 2011

Marley & Me

I am going to talk about the movie Marley and Me in just a moment and if you haven't seen the movie be forewarned, there will be spoilers. But before I get to that, just a quick rundown of our Labor Day Weekend.

Joe had to work both Saturday and Monday so that was big fat boo. Friday night we got back into the family movie night groove with Marley and Me. Saturday while Joe was at work, I took the kids to the Home Depot Workshop and I got to go out to dinner with the girls and Sunday we went to Cruz and Tara's for a BBQ. We had the Niles kids over for a few hours on Monday and then after dinner went as a family for frozen yogurt. Nothing too exciting but it was nice not to have a full schedule since ballet and soccer games will be added into the mix starting this week.

Now, for the movie review. The kids had been asking to see this movie because of recent advertisements for a straight to DVD prequel of sorts called Marley and Me: The Puppy Years. I remember when this movie first came out in 2008 and hearing that although it was being marketed as a family film, it dealt with some pretty heavy subjects. So I went online and did some research and was prepared to answer questions if they should arise when we watched this movie. And they did. Jadyn asked questions about what happened to their baby when Jennifer Aniston's character, Jennifer has a miscarriage. I was very satisfied with how that conversation went. At the end of the movie, Owen Wilson's character, John has to make the decision to put down Marley after he had gotten to live a long and happy life with their family. I thought this would be an appropriate topic to discuss. After all, we had to have both our elderly dogs euthanized over the last year and I thought seeing this movie might help the kids understand the process a little better. And I think it did. The kids really enjoyed Marley's antics throughout the movie. I would say it can be appropriate for children if you are ready and willing to discuss the topics of conversation that most surely will arise from the more serious parts of the movie.

And I have debated whether to share this and have decided to do so without too many details because I feel that at Jake's age, to go too in-depth would be a betrayal of his trust. However, I love Jake's sensitivity and compassionate side and both now and in the future, I want him to know how much I do love that about him and how proud it makes me as a mother. Suffice to say this movie really struck a nerve with Jake and was somewhat upsetting to him, necessitating an additional conversation and extra cuddle time before bed.

Marley & Me is a great movie and a great reminder of how much pets can enrich our lives. However, it is also a reminder that their life spans are much shorter than us humans and that is simply part of the deal. We love them and give them the best possible life and in return they love us unconditionally and spend their life being devoted and loyal to their family. I can't think of anything better than that.

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