In hindsight, I should not have left the kitchen TV on the “E!” channel and walked out of the room.
In hindsight, that is really a waste of electricity.
And in my even sharper hindsight, coming back to the room quite a bit later only to find my kindergartener on top of the countertop, eyes glued to the pivotal climax in the movie Titanic in which Jack’s frozen stiff hand is pried from Rose’s, whereupon she watches his cold, dead body -- eyes garishly open of course -- drift downward to the black depths of the Atlantic? Um, yeah not cool.
And even less cool was the slow-motion pivot in which my boy turned to face me with his huge eyes, clearly questioning all of humanity. This was of course followed by the face scrunch, and then the alligator tears and deep-seeded wail. Like a one-two-three punch you could see coming right toward your gut.
“Why are you so sad?” I tried to play it cool. Like maybe he would forget about the melodramatic death he had just witnessed.
“Her friend Jack just died!” his finger jabbed at Kate Winslet on the small screen. He was beside himself. “And he sank into the ocean!” my 5-year-old wailed.
“Well, we need to get ready for your class picnic!” I exclaimed, as if tap dancing in front of a crime scene. Nothing to see here, folks, did you notice there is an ice cream truck over there! Hey kids, ice cream! Carnival! Santa! Fun!
“I think a shark bit his leg off!”
Well now you’re just making things up. Isn’t James Cameron dramatic enough all by himself?
In hindsight, when the tap dancing did nothing to help and I feebly attempted to provide my boy some text book logic (long time ago, wouldn’t happen today, yadda yadda), mixed with a definition of “movie magic” (actors aren’t real, Leo’s not dead, clothes are costumes, yadda yadda) I basically dug my own grave. My answers led to new questions as his little mind started weaving an intricate web, attempting to make sense of it all and bandage his broken heart, such as:
I probably should have stopped at “movies are not real,” even though the way the questions progressed made me think I was totally working at that distraction thing. But then he totally called me out on saying that this happened “a long time ago” and thus DID IT REALLY HAPPEN OR NOT???
Note to self! Turn the TV off! Particularly before loading up the car to drive to the kindergarten class mixer/picnic at the park where your still-weepy kindergartener will tell the other kids about Jack who died in the ocean!
In my future hindsight? I’m sure this will be pretty funny.