What Moonrise Kingdom Taught Me About Marriage


For Father's Day, Riley and I went on a real live we can make out in the backseat of the car because the kids are at home date. It was loverly. Mr. Husband could have chosen any restaurant for dinner (it was his Hallmark Card day, after all) and he still decided to take me to my favorite Italian deli. Riley swore to me there was nothing he would rather have than a sandwich piled high with cured meats. (I think he was just trying to make sure we did more than make out in the back seat. He knows what a collection of cured pork products does to me. It totally worked.) Our meal was just happiness. The balsamic vinegar was fruity, the mortadella so rich and each olive soaked in brine until it made my lips pucker just this much. After sopping up the last bit of salumi inspired goodness, (Um, Riley were you going to have the last pepperocini? What about that slightly soggy crust of bread? I also noticed you dropped a piece of prosciutto...) we went over to Salt Lake City's tiny independent theater to see Wes Anderson's new movie, Moonrise Kingdom.

As expected the crowd was a little hipster fresh. And by "hipster fresh" I mean the air was ripe with the smell of patchouli oil. The men in the theater seemed determined to wear v necks deep enough to bare all three of their chest hairs (that was the combined count) and there were more people munching on edamame than popcorn. Meanwhile, I was still reveling in the entire pig we had eaten at dinner. Obviously, Riley and I were in a foreign land and had forgotten our passports. No matter. We have been outnumbered in places that smelled worse. And there was always the chance that my fellow theater friends could teach me a thing or two about urban chicken farming.

On to the movie. It was a brightly colored piece of truth tied together with mismatched ribbons. Suzy is girl looking for freedom. Sam is a boy who would like to be understood. They are both twelve and they are in love. After a year of letters and promises,they meet in a field and run away to find a world that is their very own. As I sat next to Riley I remembered being twelve with him. Could feel the space between what I thought I knew and all there was to learn. I breathed in the adolescent uncertainty and idealism and thanked the heavens that I had grown so far past the little girl I once was. And then a simple scene with little words reminded me I will always be that young girl, the one with the finger nails bitten so far down and dreams that go so far up.

The first day of running had reached its end and Suzy and Sam set up camp. Our man Sam, is a Khaki Scout and like any good camper he knows to take inventory of their belongings before continuing on their journey. Suzy agrees and sets out each item she brought from home.

Her cat and its food.

A recorder, borrowed from her brother with a note and promise of return in ten days.

One blue suitcase filled with stolen library books.

A pair of binoculars that help her see close things more clearly.

And a black covered book she found on top of the fridge at home, titled "The Very Troubled Child."

Suzy sits amidst the things she could not leave home without and Sam surveys the scene. The cat and its food are accepted easily, as is the borrowed recorder. His eyes rest on the books. The girl that he has led into the wilderness steals things. The khaki scout struggles and then lets the moment go. Alright. Moving on. The binoculars? They help her to understand the things around her. They clarify her vision, her own army surplus superpower. Of course. What else? She pulls out the black book from home, The Very Troubled Child.

The Very Troubled Child. Is that you?

She looks him in the eye, I think so.

Sam, who accepted the cat and stolen books and super binoculars, looks at Suzy and the darkest part of her and laughs. Horrified, she runs into the tent crying.  To his credit, Sam follows quickly and apologizes without hesitation. I am sorry. I'm on your side. He really is.

And there in that tiny theater surrounded by edamame pods, I started to cry. It was just so true. We go through this life looking for someone to walk with us into the wilderness. Glory of glories, we even find that person once in awhile. And somewhere between the first time we meet and the moment when it is almost too late to turn back, we stop and take inventory. Oh, the things I have taken into the wilderness with Riley. We have set up camp and I sit amidst everything I did not leave home without, my flaws, blessings, and fears. I pray that I have brought something along with me as useful as a pair of binoculars and know there will be more than one black covered book.

I can't ask Riley to understand it all. I know that. But I can ask that he follow me, even in his misunderstanding, and pull me close. Don't cry. I'm on your side. And I will believe him, dry my tears and walk a little deeper into the wilderness.

Off to find a world that is our very own.