Maya is away tonight, on her second overnight in three days. Needless to say all is right in her world. For Ben this has meant hours of uninterrupted time in his world, which over the past few days has been closely intertwined with C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. We read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe a few months ago, but had been reading other non-Narnia books since. Last week Ben saw a preview for the upcoming movie version of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and decided we needed to catch up with the Narnia books so that we can go see the film (it opens this Friday). Maya is not as enamored of the Narnia books, so her overnights gave us the opportunity to jump into Prince Caspian and then Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We finished Caspian in three days, and watching Ben listen to the book as I read it out loud is so much fun. I mentioned the other day that he sewed himself a belt with a scabbard hook for his sword. Then he ditched the plastic sword he was using and instead made one from scratch out of aluminum tape (aluminum tape is amazing stuff, in case you’ve never used it. Hours and hours of fun). Then he decided that he needed a shield, and so a cardboard box was covered in the same aluminum tape and given a handle on the back (out of that tape, of course), and then he invented a seal for himself out of Sculpey which he attached to the front of the shield. Mind you, all of this was happening as I read out loud. Once his arsenal was ready, Ben fought the battles right alongside the characters in the book, leaping and slashing around the living room as King Peter and King Caspian and the animals of Old Narnia defeated King Miraz’ Telmarines.
We took a break from reading (or I did, as my voice was about to give out) and watched “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” this evening, which Ben proclaimed was the best movie he’s ever seen except for Harry Potter 7. This is high, high praise coming from Ben, who has seen and loves all six Star Wars movies and all 4 Indiana Jones flics. Tomorrow we beginning reading Dawn Treader and we will watch “Prince Caspian”.
Ben is great proof that technology does not necessarily dampen creativity or imagination. He loves the Narnia books – I know he sees them play out in his mind as they are read. And then we watch the film and it simply adds another layer. You can see him ‘see’ the battle when he re-enacts it for you around the dining room table. And he remembers what he’s heard in detail – all the character’s names and the places they went – and will tell you exactly how the film deviates from the book. Nothing is lost.
Ben’s world is a place of fun and magic and endless possibility. We should all take a walk there now and then.