"Spy Kids"

with Antonio Banderas

Viewed December 8, 2001

Sure, it was fluff and superficial and eye-candy. But it was also fun. I had a great time watching the film and I enjoyed the gags and creativity that the Disney folks put into this movie. Who else would have thought of using the various colors on one's makeup table as the keys on a hidden computer keyboard? It was great kid-oriented fun.

Perhaps that's why we started with Question 8, trying to find out how to release our inner playfulness. But we realized that playfulness seems to conflict with responsibility, like in Question 5. So we spent the entire evening trying to figure out how to resolve that dilemma. Several of us said that we grew up feeling very responsible, for our family or siblings or making sure everything was somehow "perfect." (That resulted in stiff muscles, digestion problems, tight shoulders, and a serious lack of joy and spontaneity.) Others said that they spend most of their time in their "kid" self, just blowing off any demands that are placed on them. (That resulted in others sometimes becoming angry and upset.) Neither way seemed to be satisfactory, and yet it was difficult to figure out how to strike a balance between them.

We decided that fear and judgment (both from ourselves and others) were at the heart of excessive responsibility. We talked about finding emotionally-safe places where we could practice being more playful. And we realized that when we can combine adult responsibility with childlike playfulness, we see the best results. For those of us who are excessively responsible and overly tense and vigilant, the children in us can actually rescue the adults, just as they did in the movie.

Here are the questions:


  1. What have I done to distance myself from my family?
  2. How do I protect myself from people who put me down?
  3. How has life forced me to stretch beyond my boundaries, and how do I feel about that?
  4. How do I feel when I see my own "stuff" displayed by others?
  5. How drastic does a situation have to be before I'll accept responsibility?
  6. How do I move past my personal issues so I can "see" others accurately?
  7. What are the ingredients necessary for me to take big risks instead of playing it safe?
  8. How do I let the kid in me out to play?