Monday, April 27, 2009

4/27/09 Is she home yet?

For Christmas, Julian got the unusual gift of a book of the original Wizard of Oz, annotated and with all original illustrations. Everyone knows the movie, but have you ever read the original book? I did as a kid, and it's excellent and very bizarre. I'd like to re-read now it as an adult, as it's filled with nuances and political statement of the time. Even if you miss those, as I surely would even now, the language is rich and archaic and the story is complex and woven.

Dave's been reading it to the boys, moreso Julian, page by page, for months. Consequently, Julian has been very concerned for quite some time about whether or not Dorothy gets back to Kansas. When his grandparents were visiting, out of the blue he asked Bonne Maman, "Does Dorothy ever get back to Kansas?"

Today I experimented with a different route home, which meant picking up Julian first, and having some rare time alone with him in the car. As we were on our way to pick up Katrina, I was idly listening to NPR, when I suddenly heard from the back, "Mommy! Guess what! Dorothy made it back to Kansas!" I turned down the radio, and listened, fascinated, in exquisite detail, about how the Good Witch told Dorothy she had the charm in her silver shoes (in the book, they're silver), and that on the very last page she gets home to Kansas and to her Aunt Em (in the book, she's Aunt, not Auntie).

I'm not even sure he knows there's a movie, and I saw no need to tell him right away. Clearly, Frank Baum's original story is still very captivating and fills the imagination. And how can you replace Julian's joy and relief from learning, after months of following a fascinating epic journey, that Dorothy made it home?

Certainly, I relate very well to one of life's simplest joys -- going home -- too.


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