I remember first seeing The Matrix. I have never seen anything like it since. It blew my mind, with its slow motion bullet-bending, air-splicing moves. And then, there is the whole matter of the character, Trinity. The Trinity Complex, as I like to call it, better known as the kick-ass woman I daydream about being. I never got over the power of a roundhouse somersaulting kick by Carrie-Anne Moss.
Fast forward 15 years later. I now have three children, a boy who is 10, and two older boys: 15 and 17 years old. This past weekend, I decided, it was time.
I had made up my mind; they were man enough. Definitely man enough, even the 10-year-old. I turned to them at the dinner table and asked them in a serious voice, along with a direct unwavering gaze, "Have you ever heard of a movie called, The Matrix?"
"Yeah," they answered. "Think so."
"What have you heard about it?" I countered back.
"It's in the future or the past, or the future that looks like the past. Like steam punk. Robots take over and it's all grey and dirty like industrial London." None of them sounded too sure.
"Did you boys know that it's my favorite movie of all time? And that tonight, my children, we are all going to see it."
We cleaned up our dishes, and then we settled down in the living room. I silently kneeled in front of the shelf where we keep John Gray's Children Are From Heaven and William Bennett's The Book of Virtues. I reached behind the basket of DVDs and pulled out the greatest, kick-ass movie of all time.
I can barely talk. It feels like a moment of ceremony.
How can I ever explain to these three boys, my children, that when I saw this movie for the first time, I dreamed for days, that I was Trinity. I have made it through the toughest situations in my life by being Trinity. The leather bracelet around my wrist is stamped WWTD.
When The Matrix hit the theaters in 1999, my poor husband had to endure my round house kicks to his butt and karate chops to his throat as I roamed around our house, hiding behind corners, in black wrap-around Neo sunglasses and a duster coat. If I could have squeezed my pregnant body into liquid latex back then, I would have.
With the DVD in my hand, I take a deep breath. There is no tip-toeing to the edge of the cliff with this movie. Seeing The Matrix is a full-blast, all-engines-wide-open leap, and there's no going back.
"Get ready, boys." I announce.
"Yeah, whatever mom." they yawn.
Silence ensues. From the first microsecond of the movie onto its entire length. Afterward, fully satisfied, I turn to my offspring, hopeful -- looking at those faces that are so much like mine it makes me ache to share everything with them.
"Well?" I ask expectantly. "Best damn movie or what?"
And as if out of some picture perfect world where all my dreams come true, my boys jump up, and start beautifully spin kicking the air and trying for somersaults over the sofa and around our kitchen's walls.
If there was ever any doubt before, there no longer is now: I lead a charmed life. As Trinity would.
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