This blog is not about the new Wonder Woman movie, per se, but I owe it a debt of thanks because it brought me a new friend.
Let me explain.
I like super heroes. I grew up watching George Reeves as Superman, Adam West as Batman, Van Williams and Bruce Lee (Bruce Lee, fer cripes sakes!) in The Green Hornet. I read comic books–Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle, was a huge favorite, and I wish I still had those babies; they’re collectibles now.
The latest crop of super hero movies, though, has left me … not cold, exactly, but maybe uninspired. I do have a certain affection for Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor, and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and I like Christian Bale’s Dark Knight well enough … but not near as much as I love Heath Ledger’s Joker.
But when it comes to female super heroes, they often seem pale shadows of their male counterparts — active, but not actually part of the action. Despite Wonder Woman’s fabulous reviews, I was feeling a bit apprehensive as we drove off last night to watch it.
But this blog isn’t about the movie. It’s about a boy named Bear.
I wound up with this five-year-old sitting behind me, and we got to talking before the film began. He told me his name was Bear (at least that’s what I think he said), and asked for my name. When I introduced myself, his mother smiled and said he was a huge Wonder Woman fan, and wanted to dress as her for Halloween, which I thought was hugely cool. Bear didn’t want to talk about that. Obviously we both loved Wonder Woman or we wouldn’t be there. What he wanted to know was my favorite color.
“Red,” I said.
“That’s my favorite color!” He made this odd waggling gesture at me with his fingers, then took a Star Burst Fruit Chew from his mother and carefully unwrapped it. “Do you like these?”
“I do,” I said. “But my favorite movie candy is Kit-Kats.”
“That’s what he wanted!” Mom spoke up. “But I wouldn’t let him have them because, you know, the chocolate.”
Bear raised his hand and made that strange gesture again. “What is that?” I asked. I tried to do it.
He nodded with all the wisdom of Dumbledore. “It means we’re connected,” he said gravely.
Bear’s mother casually mentioned that she wouldn’t let him bother me during the film, and I said he was no bother at all — and I meant it. I love interesting little kids. She smiled gratefully. “Most people don’t get him,” she said softly. I didn’t ask for details. Clearly, there was something “special” about this little boy.
He never made a peep during the movie. After it was over, I turned around to see him putting on his coat. “Did you like it?” I asked.
He nodded enthusiastically, eyes lidded with sleepiness. It was way past his bedtime. “Did you?” he asked.
“Oh, yes.” I motioned him over. “Will you do me a favor?” He nodded. “Go out and have a wonderful life,” I told him. “And don’t forget that you’re special.” And off he walked, hand in hand with Mom.
I’ll likely never see that sweet little boy again, but Bear’s right about one thing. From now on, we’re connected.