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I almost never read a book twice and rarely watch a movie twice, but there are a few exceptions. Musicals and Jane Austen are qualifying terms for a return viewing in my opinion.
At the end of a long week when the boys want to have a family movie night, you might hear Kian say, “What do you want to watch Mom? Emma?” They know out of our long list of movies that I won’t be watching a repeat, and every once in awhile they have pity on me.
The boys have seen all varieties of Jane Austen and BBC films. They have watched the six-hour mini-series, and they have seen the American short versions. One might think they are merely enduring these shows just to appease the only female in the house, but “becoming Knightley” is a phrase that they have adopted. They admire the good manners, the good character, integrity, and witty vocabulary of the male roles in these movies. Who would have thought that my entertainment would bring them such aspiration for good manners?
Then I am woken to reality as I enter the kitchen after an early oatmeal extravaganza and wonder if maybe Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has been a more influential movie. Oats scattered on the counter, little trails of sugar that didn’t make it from the container to the bowl, cinnamon shakers left open, wet coffee spoons lying about, unwiped milk drops on lids. I shake my head. I can’t begin to make my own breakfast when the counter is in such disarray!
Scenes of poor Millie entering the house of seven brothers pop in my head, with all the brothers ravenous for food and making a mess of her well-prepared meal. But then again the Pontipee brothers could raise barns and chop firewood, and they were pretty self-sufficient out there, wherever they lived. So I guess there are some redeeming character traits with them as well! Stealing women, of course would not be on that list of redeeming traits, but I think that lesson was made clear by the end of the movie.
So somewhere between Pontipee and Knightley is where my sons fall. Raising my young men is a constant adventure!
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