frodo, power, and kids

July 12, 2004

*spoiler to lotr- caution if you haven’t seen return of the king

so i admit we finally caught up with the rest of the world and watched 8 hours of the lotr trilogy yesterday. this required LOTS of ignoring our children, consuming an ungodly amount of potato chips and it resulted in much contemplation about power. in honor of dave lemen (my bil) we watched the extended versions, of course.

so i thought aragon was dreamy, sam was pure gold and frodo- ughh… i was disappointed. i so wanted him to make the choice to let go of the ring, not fight gollum and accidentally fall off the ledge. i expected the inner struggle but i was hoping with sam’s encouragement he could have done it on his own. to me this would have been the ultimate ending. even a pure soul like frodo, facing the pressure of incredible power just couldn’t let go in the end. i know it signifies just how powerful the ring was, how heavy the burden was and how human we all are but i so want to believe that if we share both power and the burden we can overcome anything, even the worst evil. they did need each other, frodo couldn’t have done it alone but in the moment he was alone- it was his decision. could it be that deep in my heart i relate most to frodo? i like to think i would have been brave and offered to take the ring, but then in the midst of adversity i’d be weeping and offer the ring to anyone who would take it. even worse, i don’t know that i would be able to resist the ring’s power. and while i sometimes crave power, when i have it i am often unsure what to do with it or i know exactly what to do but am afraid to use it. unless of course, i think everyone around me will be pleased with how i use it, but who really has the power then?

the whole idea just feels wrong. the word power itself holds a negative connotation for me- not sure why…i think it touches a nerve with me because so much of my life is spent with children. i see people everyday abuse their power with children. we are bigger, stronger and we think smarter than the youngest people in this world. our job is to guide and empower children but so often we try to control and break the spirits of kids that exhibit certain strengths that we deem unacceptable. the power of persuasion, persistence, and the fire of minds that require more than a simple explanation, the need to explore and experience alone- all the things that make us crazy as parents. we give the stare, loud exasperated sighs, maybe even yell or hit- we show our power. i’ve done it, sometimes i just want them to comply. guiding and empowering requires too much energy from my tired mother mind and body. but then there is sam and frodo, while i’m sure my kids won’t be saving all of mankind but

will josiah need to defend the little kid on the playground ?

will jack need to challenge or question a teacher?

will my boys someday feel passion for causes that help change our world?

god i hope so, and i pray there many aragons, gandolphs, and sams to lend their power, to believe in them, to carry them, to love them. maybe in the end frodo was the only one that could have even carried the ring to the mountain. maybe the smaller, weaker and simple hearts are the ones that carry the strength, courage, and power in the end…

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2 Responses to “frodo, power, and kids”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    pache, this is an awesome post!
    maybe what happened with frodo was okay in the end.
    he made it to the end of his journey, through much peril and many hardships, and by fate (or grace, depending on how you look at it) he was able to see the task completed.
    the whole time frodo knew that it was too much for him, this job. but he tried. isn’t that enough? i think there’s something to be said here for just hanging in there, even if something is to much for you. even if you know on some level that you are destined to fail, way out of your league. which one of us would have that much courage if we knew deep down that we just couldn’t do it–and we were right?

    okay, i’ll stop trying to put a good spin on it for you!!!
    i love your thoughts about josiah and jack and i pray many samwise partners for them in this life. 😉
    love you, jen

  2. patience Says:

    yes, yes…actually that spin helps me out a lot. i can’t imagine the courage to try something even if deep down i knew i would probably fail- not to mention all of mankind counting on me. i grant frodo grace! 🙂


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