I decided to take my children to the theater this last week. It is a rare occasion for us, so it would be something special to do while my oldest was gone. When Fellowship of the Ring came out, my husband and I had not been to the theater for fourteen years. Does that give you an idea of how rarely we go? Since then, we have spare change and good babysitting more often, and we appreciate more films that have hit the big screen, but it is still a special event.
Well, I took my four children and my mother to see March of the Penguins. My mother and I loved it. My older children thought it was "fine." My youngest, however, was very unhappy. There is a point in the movie where one of the baby penguins dies. This is a film about how hard it is for the penguins to survive, and some of them don't. Well, the mother is nudging the little bird, and she moans the most horrible sound. As an adult, and even as older children, we felt sad. My youngest, though, sobbed. I felt so terrible. This was not the only point in the movie that bothered my son. He didn't like that the mother or the father penguin has to go far away to feed while the other is caring for the egg or baby. He wanted all those penguins together, alive, and safe.
I am glad that he is a sensitive boy. He is extra tall for his age, and I think I have been caught in the trap of assuming he is older than he is. I found this easy with my oldest, simply because she was older than all the other children. Now, it is a temptation again. Tall, articulate, coordinated, he is able to keep up with the crew on the ski slopes, on the basketball court, and in the family banter around the table. I need to remember he is six. I need to remember he is, gratefully, a sensitive boy who still wants there to be a happy ending.