Wednesday, July 4, 2012

To the Arctic

Oh no.

I took my 2 & 3 year old to the IMAX today while big sister was at Grandma's, cause she's just much too stressy to watch nature documentaries, and we just love the IMAX. I always have, yo, and I always will.

This love goes way back to an era in which laser light shows in the dome theater set to the musical stylings of Lionel Ritchie used to make me swoon. And I'd wish, so, that I had someone to hug and kiss, and perhaps try to cop a feel up my neon pink, neon green, neon orange AND neon yellow ski jacket.

Now I have lots of people to hug and kiss, which is nice. They include my still nursing cubs who do like to cop a feel.

It's not really possible for us to look at a mother polar bear and her two nurslings without strongly identifying with them. Nor is it possible for us, no matter how much we're enjoying the splash park in a heat wave, to watch the polar caps draining into the Arctic ocean while Meryl Streep narrates, ever so perfectly, that "this gorgeous crown of ice" is disappearing and to learn how polar bears depend on ice to survive.

When Meryl explained how mother polar bears were going on epic long swims to look for food in the middle of all this wateryousness, and that the longest recorded polar bear swim was for 9 days! and that HER CUB DIDN'T MAKE IT, my son began to sob. Loudly. Un-self-consciously. Sobbing.

At the point in the film pictured above, the mother and her cubs are fleeing from a hungry male polar bear who wants to eat her babies because he's starving. That occasioned some keening wails from my little son.

"They aren't nice daddies, like our daddy," I had to explain.

And don't even get me started on the plight of baby Caribou.

Oh GAWD, they need to migrate weeks earlier now, cause of global warming, which means they have to give birth WHILE migrating, instead of before, which means they are extremely vulnerable to the legions of starving predators. And all this information is delivered while a mama is licking off her newborn to the soundtrack of the Beatles being groovy and sensitive.

So my boy wept unabashedly through the whole thing. And I held him. And our two year old ate popcorn off the floor. And our hearts are broken. Broken.

How is this borne? How do we, daily, bear this tragedy?

"The greatest gift mothers can pass on to their children is a healthy planet," is the movie's epigraph.

Excuse me while I save the planet. For my son and daughters. Meryl said I could. 

"We CAN?" my lamenting tot shouted back loudly when she told us.

I don't know though. We might need some help. And I really get the sense that no one much cares.

And it's fatiguing. And it sucks. And I'm angry and defeated. And he's all raw about it. As he should be.


Is this suitable for children? Of course not, but of course, because it's happening and it's true.


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