Gracie cried during Movie Night last night. It wasn’t because Bee kept getting in the way (although she did). It wasn’t because her sister stole some of her movie candy (although she did that, too). Gracie cried because of the movie, because the plot was sad. It was like I was watching her grow into a big kid right before my very eyes, and that made me sad. It was a great night overall, really, better than it sounds! But the tissues. And the guilt!
I should have known better when I picked out the movie. We have a few leftover from Christmas that we still haven’t watched, and so I was a little careless about choosing one last week. As in, on Thursday night I thought, oh yeah, I should pick out a movie for tomorrow night. I flipped through ABC Family and HBO family to see if anything good was going to be on in the next 20 hours before I raided our video stash. And there it was on HBO at noon the next day: The Land Before Time.
Littlefoot! Sara! DUCKY! Land Before Time is a classic, one that we watched over and over and over when we were younger. (I’m sure my mom learned to hate it, we watched it so often.) I remember crying when Littlefoot’s mom died. And when she appeared to Littlefoot in a vision. And during the reunion. And all throughout that blasted sad song during the credits. Still, it was a great movie in spite of the tissues and I was curious to see how Gracie and Bee would like it.
They LOVED it! They were a little afraid of Sharptooth, but really enjoyed the rest of the little dinosaurs’ adventures. After the first twenty minutes, Gracie even stopped asking so many questions; if that isn’t the definition of getting sucked into a movie, I don’t know what is.
When Littlefoot’s mom died at the beginning of the movie, Gracie quickly grew both anxious and teary-eyed. “What happened to his mom? Whyyy? But what will Littlefoot do?” I thought I had gotten off easily when Gracie moved on, following the action on the screen. Yeah, that lasted until Littlefoot’s vision of his mom just before he reached Happy Valley. Gracie was in full blown tears this time when she figured out Littlefoot’s mom was “died” for good. She wasn’t going to open her eyes. She heaved and sobbed and asked when Littlefoot met up with his grandparents, not his mom and dad. And when she asked when Littlefoot would ever see his mom again? My heart broke.
I thought I had smoothed everything over with a happy, upbeat explanation of heaven (“Don’t worry! When Littlefoot dies, he gets to see her in heaven! Forever!”). But after Gracie finished brushing her teeth, she came out crying yet again. “What happens if you get old, Mommy, and you die and I don’t see you?” Her heart broke, my heart broke, and everyone needed a tissue. Then I promised her I would never die and we’d always be together. So if you guys have any tips on the not dying thing, I could use some help here. (I already scratched playing-in-traffic off my to-do list. Any other ideas?)
So that was our happy, sad, guilt-laden movie night. I don’t know what the happiest movie is on earth, but you can bet your booty that’s what we’re watching next time!