There comes a time in every child's life where they MUST experience this movie.
If you came out of me, you will be watching this movie. It's a given. I was thrilled that Tommy was finally old enough to understand it. I didn't give away the ending. As I put the DVD in, I said, quite formally, "This movie will change your life. It'll make you laugh. It'll make you ugly cry. It'll make--"
Tommy raised his hand. So cute, he's not even in school! He said, "What's an ugly cry?"
"It's what I do. Snot comes out of my nose, I drool, my face becomes bright red..." I explained.
Tommy winced. "That's disgusting. Why would you cry though?"
I waved a finger in the air and said mysteriously, "You shall see."
Tommy just shrugged.
I started the movie. The magic was about to begin.
"Now, Vada lives in a funeral parlor. So there are dead bodies," I said.
"Gross. Do they smell?" Tommy asked.
"Well. No. They'll be embalmed."
And then I had to explain THAT to him.
So we watched the movie and then IT happens. You know what the IT is.
Tommy didn't like this. I don't know if it's an autism thing or what but he became irritated. "Why are you crying? It's a movie. It's not happening, really. Stop crying."
"It's just the IDEA of it really happening..." I sniffled as a snot bubble popped.
Tommy looked disgusted. I had definitely showed him what an ugly cry was.
I calmed down a bit until Vada's dad had to tell her what happened. Vada is all, "He's going to be okay, isn't he?" and he goes, "There were just too many of them."
"Are you seriously crying again? Why? This is a movie," Tommy said, frowning. "You stop it."
He doesn't like to see people in distress. He doesn't know how to process it. It's going to be interesting if he does get a girlfriend. I can see them watching Titanic and Tommy yelling, "The actor Leonardo DiCaprio is alive and well. Knock it off."
I tried to keep my tears in. And I did, until Thomas J's funeral. Vada walks in the room and says, "He can't see without his glasses," and I want to scream along with her, "PUT HIS GLASSES BACK ON FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE!" Huge tears fell down my cheeks as Vada screamed, "He was gonna be an acrobat!"
"Thomas J!" I sputtered into my kleenex. "Thomas J!"
"This is JUST A MOVIE!" Tommy snapped.
I composed myself. Tommy was right. It's only a movie. The actor Macaulay Culkin is alive and...he's making art, that's the last I heard. I'm assuming he's well and hopefully off the drugs. Concentrate on that art, Macaulay.
Then Mrs. Senate, Thomas J's mom, gave Vada the mood ring and it was BLUE not BLACK and as she walks away Vada calls out, "Mrs. Senate? Thomas J will be all right. My mother will take care of him."
"This is just a movie," Tommy grumbled. "No crying."
I sniffled through Vada's weeping willow poem and then the movie was over. Despite my crying, Tommy liked it. He thought it was cool that they were 11, like he is. He laughed when they kissed. He thought Gramoo was hilarious how she didn't talk and just sat there but oh, she can suddenly burst into song. (I wonder how it was having that part. Oh, little old lady, you just sit there and look like a stone. Or you sing. And we'll pay you. Cool?)
I love the movie so much and I'm glad I got to share it with my son.
Soon, when Natalie is a little older, I'll experience it with her.
"And that, my son, is why I don't like bees," I said solemnly as the credits rolled.