Thursday, November 5, 2009

I cried right along with him

Back in September when we first decided to do school at home with Liam -the week before school was to start- I found myself somewhat unprepared in regards to materials and curriculum. Our decision was made, however the logistics took a few weeks to fall into place. In the interim, I decided to just start reading with him and settled on The Chronicles of Narnia as a starting point.

After breezing through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in less than two weeks, we borrowed the film version to watch together. I waited until an afternoon when Simon was sleeping and settled onto the couch with Liam.

While the book starts straight into the story of the Penvensie children's arrival at the Professor's house in the country, the movie sets the scene more, with bombs dropping on London while the children and their mother narrowly escape to their bomb shelter. The next scene sees them on a crowded train platform (among hundreds of other children being sent away from London) while they say goodbye to their tearful mother.

At this point in the movie, I turned to find Liam with his face buried in the couch cushions, choking back tears.


His reason for crying? IT'S JUST SOOOOO SAAAA-A-A-A-A-D. So sad. The opening credits weren't even finished and he already wanted to shut off the movie. And he knew the story! We'd just finished reading it the day before!

Fast forward a few weeks, we'd read through the second book of the series, Prince Caspian, and decided that the movie version would be a good choice for a family movie night (minus a few scenes that we skipped). And it seemed to be going splendidly. ALL WAS WELL.

Until the end.

At the end of the movie, as in the book, the older two Penvensie kids, Peter and Susan, are told by Aslan that they won't be returning to Narnia. They then say goodbye to their Narnian friends and proceed to walk through an opening in two trees, back into our world. During that scene, there is a song playing. A song by Regina Spektor entitled "The Call".

Here it is, if you'd like to listen:

This song absolutely WRECKED, Liam. My poor boy. I looked over with a big smile on my face, ready to say, "What did you think, Liam? Wasn't that GREAT?". What I saw first was the quivering chin and before I knew it he was sobbing in my arms, his whole body shaking. IT'S JUST SOOOOO SAAAA-A-A-A-A-D.

This boy of ours, he feels things deeply. He FEELS things DEEPLY.

You may ask yourselves then, as I later did, what exactly I was thinking this morning when I casually mentioned to Liam that today was his grandpa's birthday. Rather, it would have been his birthday because my dad died last December.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when, shortly after my off-handed remark, I found this deep-feeling boy of mine curled up in a ball with his head buried between my back and the couch cushions. When I asked what was wrong, I was met with a muffled, "I miss graaaaandpa!"

After extracting his head from the couch, I was able to calm him down enough to ask if he'd like to watch the video I made for my dad's service. Grandpa's video. Yes, he responded, he would. But without the music.

So we settled into the couch, Liam on one side of me and Simon on the other. We did, infact, watch it with the sound ON, and Liam did very well until the very end when we got to the pictures of my dad when he was sick in the hospital, accompanied by this song,

As I held my little boy, who loved his grandpa so much, I found myself fighting back the tears that I was telling him were okay to let fall. Not because I didn't want my son to see me cry, but because I wasn't sure I'd be able to stop once I started. So we sat there and had a good cry together. I reminded him of the love he shared with his grandpa, and how that love won't ever change. How it's always going to hurt a little bit when we think of him, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about him. That grandpa would want us to think about him and want us to go on loving him and loving each other.

And Simon? Well he insisted on sitting with us the whole time and "cried" right along with us. Completely fake and completely forced, but very sincere and genuine in his desire to sit and cry and be sad with us. As he said to my mom on the phone not too long later, "We're crying. We're crying cause the song made us sad." WE. WE're crying. Solidarity!

Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn". I'm amazed and impressed and thankful that I have such feeling little boys. Children who not only have strong emotions, but who also feel free to express them (for better or worse!). It's humbling and a great responsibility to properly nurture that in them. Empathy. To understand and share another's emotions. This is one of my greatests desires for my children.

I know that my dad would be proud of them.

We miss you, dad. Happy Birthday.


  1. Loved this post. I have a lovely, loving, sensitive five year old boy and a sweet happy 11 month old girl. My boy also feels things deeply and I wouldn't want it any other way. He is loving with us, adores his baby sister and loves his friends and family. He will grow up with big feelings and find people to share them with... lucky them! And lucky me.

    Enjoy your sweet boys.

  2. And I cried, too. You tell powerful and honest stories. Liam is brave to be honest with his feelings, though he might not know it yet.

  3. (((HUGS))) to all of you. That song the call brings me to tears every time too. My sister sings it and it is one of my Dad's favorite songs. We listened to it many times when I saw him this spring. Having sensitive boys is a true gift.

  4. That is an amazing thing to let your children feel in that way. You are a good Mom Amy!

  5. Oh my goodness, that is so sad Amy... this post brought tears to my eyes! Sensitive little boys are a heartbreaking to a mama! Hugs!

  6. I would of been a puddle right along with you guys. Thanks for sharing this sweet moment with your boys with us.

  7. Man, even the books made me cry! It is good that your son feels things like that. Too many do not! :)


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