Wednesday, February 17, 2010

from a few weeks ago

Tonight after dinner we piled onto the couches and watched one of the movies William received for his birthday.


Actually, let me back up for a moment and tell you about how a couple of months ago I decided I was overly cautious about the types of movies I let my kids see. We'd been pretty straight pixar/animated family stuff around here, with a generous helping of DVRed Disney shows, and I never dreamed of letting my kids watch anything that wasn't made directly for children. I mean really, until October, the most controversial show around here was Charlie Brown, and that was only controversial because it led to both boys routinely threatening to "pound" me (or each other). But then Star Wars Madness! happened, and after much vascilating and temporizing and debating, I finally realized I was the only mother I knew even remotely concerned, and went with it. The boys were ecstatic. They LOVED it. They continue to love it, as a matter of fact, with no ill effects I can see.


But. The reason I was originally so protective is because of Michael. Michael is kind of bizarrely sensitive, and I don't mean bizarre in the sense that he's crazy oversensitive all the time to everything, I mean bizarre in that this sensitivity will strike whenever you least expect it. Nothing unusual for months and months, and then one night we'll be at basketball game and the sound of the horn will have him crying and begging for home.




are you tired of my exposition yet? cautious because of Michael, check. eased up on movie guidelines with no apparent consequences, check. consider yourself up to speed. SO ANYWAY.




For William's birthday I bought one of those packs of movies you can buy at Target or Wal-Mart, three movies for like $13. And these movies were innocuous, honestly, it never even crossed my mind to be concerned. They were all rated G: An American Tail, Balto and The Land Before Time. harmless, right? So tonight we decided to watch The Land Before Time.




Because, Dinosaurs! adorable Dinosaurs! Who wouldn't love that?


Well, I'll tell you wouldn't love that. We watched the movie the whole way through with nary a problem, and then, just as Little Foot was finally reunited with his grandparents, Michael, who was sitting right next to me, turned his face into my shoulder and dissolved. Just completely melted down right next to me.




"uhhh...Michael?" I said.


"I'm so tired, Mom, I just want to go to bed," he sobbed.


whoa. what?


those words have not been uttered in this house by anyone other than Christofer or myself since...ever. EVER. No one under the age of 28 has ever REQUESTED to go to SLEEP. IT WAS AMAZING.




It would have been a lot awesomer if he hadn't been bawling while he said it, though.




"Are you okay, Michael?" I asked, positioning him more securely on my lap (no mean feat considering the state of my leg muscles, but that is a story for another post).




He wrapped his long arms around my shoulders as tightly as he could and said, "I just want to go to bed, mom. Please? Carry me? I'm just so tired."




So I gritted my teeth (the legs, you know),picked him up and carried him upstairs. "Do you want to go lie down in my bed or yours?" I asked, hoping to calm him slightly.


He didn't even answer.


I carried him over to my bed and started to put him down. "I want you to stay with me, Mom," he said, and I hugged him and said I would. He calmed down a little bit, and while he was pulling the covers over himself, he turned away from me and said, "You want to know what a sad part of that movie was?"




"Yes, I do," I replied, but just then William walked in.




"I'll tell you in a minute," Michael said.





So I held him for a minute, while he calmed down some, while his breathing slowed and his body relaxed. Then I asked, "Michael, what was the sad part of that movie? Will you tell me?"




"Yes," he said, and his breath caught. "When his mother died." He started to tear again, to choke up, and he asked, "Why did she die?"




I don't know how to answer this question, I thought, but outloud I reoffered the plot: she died trying to protect Little Foot from Sharp Tooth.


"I don't want you to leave, I want you to cuddle me," he begged, and of course I did. We turned around and lied back to back, the way I use to lie beside my mom, and he fell asleep.


Oh, Michael.

9 comments:

Heather said...

Listen- I have never been described as sensitive in my entire life and I was older than Michael when my parents took us to see "An American Tail." I still remember being TORN APART when I watched Fievel get seperated from his family and launched from that boat. That stuff is real.

Katie Lane said...

what a sweetie. i love sweet nice little boys. who love star wars too.

Grandy said...

Precious, sensative Michael. Recently I read a book to Claire and couldn't get to the garbage fast enough after the end.....orphanage...I couldn't deal with it! Death is such a difficult matter. I'm with Michael-----I never want his mother to leave, either!!!!!!!!! Or, my mother for that matter!! Have you ever noticed that none of the Disney Princesses have mothers??? WHAT'S UP WITH THAT??? Please give my baby's baby boy a hug from his Grandy!!!

Grandy said...

ps Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth...it helps a Grandy who lives W-----A-----Y TOO FAR AWAY to cope!!!!!! I laugh and smile and cry and giggle and pray after many of your posts. What would I do without you-----and your impressive talents and willingness to share? You are amazing and I ADORE YOU!!! NOBODY has daughter in laws like mine!!!! (fairygodkids, rather!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Christofer said...

He gets his sensitivity from me.

Nama said...

Aw, I was fighting back tears at the end of this post.

And then I read Christofer's comment.

Adam said...

That was beautiful.

Turley Family said...

i have always hated that movie! it's one of those movies i won't let madelynn rent from block buster. it's for the same reason my mom never let me watch Bambi! i have still never seen it.

Heather said...

This gave me goosebumps. Congrats on having such beautiful boys.