“The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo”

ImageOk, let me just say that for a Single Father of a 15 year old girl, this was a bit disturbing.  However, there were a few positive things I got out of this.  All the characerizations were great;Daniel Craig, the girl, the uncle, Harriet’s brother etc.  Howver, as a divorced father watching this alone I was struck by the description of the missing girl, Harriet.  Thank goodness she turns out “looking” well adjusted…normal, and it doesn’t hurt that she is attractive. But, about midway through the movie (darn I want to say film…shhhh, pase, pase)  Harriet is interviewed about her self and is matter-of-fact as she describes a 14-15 year old girl in Sweden, in the most F*****-** family I’ve ever heard of; and apparently if you look at the nearly – “Royal”, (and often more powerful), in any society over the course of civilization, one story can be more bizarre than the next!  

So, I’m drawn to the confusion that my daughter is going through at this very age.  And, I’m thinking that  Harriet “nails it”!    She says, “…a little withdrawn one day, wearing dark eye make-up and the tightest sweaters she can –  the next, and her head burried in the bible the next day.  She was very bright.  Some thought she would take over the family business one day.” -Whew! there’s a lot in there, I thought…

The words don’t exactly describe what I am witnessing with my own.  However, the spirit does.  The inconsistency, the unknowing, the seemingly out-of-character.  And, then to know, however, not until the end of the movie, that Harriet did turn out “normal”, was kind of my happy ending, Relief.

But how does one know how that person is going to turn out…when they’re still trying all this out.  When their body’s are changing faster than the time lapse photography of a budding Crocus, they showed us in school (circa 1970’s if you don’t remember); When they are bleaching their soft, baby fine, straight hair -into oblivion (Hiroshima of the hair comes to mind), only to add rainbow hilighting to the bangs; When they are telling mom, that they don’t know whether they are straight or not;When they are seemingly unable to pick-up their room, no let’s rephrase that – keep from trashing their room!; When they are taking school notes on paper ripped out of a spiral notebook, with no hope of ever finding an organized way of keeping them; When they are confused about their sexuality to the extent they don’t know whether they are gay or  straight; When they admit that their idol in the school is the only girl who’s tried it all – by age 16 mind you! (Rebel without a cause, sexually active, talented musician song-writer, piercings where they don’t belong, language fit for a sailor).

I just remembered that I have one of those parenting a  teenager books around here, that my older sister sent me a while back.  I thought I had read enough last year (a chapter or two…yeah, I get it, I’m hip…I got this, no problema, man) – – Not!…I gotta find that book, today.

Do you step back and loosely guide, like I a couple 2-by-4’s bracketing a “match-box-car” rambling down a hill, moving much faster than it was meant to?  Or – do you get as close as you can commenting on every nuance, asking questions with each metamorphasis that makes the catipillar butterfly thing, look like color by numbers? It’s hard to know.

I know only one thing.  You only get one chance at this thing, especially with only one kid.  And, if it doesn’t turn out “right” (whatever that is!?) it’ll be a burden, a source of anguish for the rest of my life. Oh, man it’s a lot to comprehend.

In the immortal words of Dory… “Keep on swimming, keep on swimming.”




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