Not a good time for tragic plots

No, I did not watch the game last night. Who cares about baseball anyway? Considering that women are being forced to have abortions in China, new brides in India are being murdered by their in-laws for the dowry money, and J-Lo is finally, finally, pregnant, can we really even bother to call ourselves decent Christians if we get all wrapped up in such petty things as sports?

Besides, I hate crying. It gives me a headache.

Instead, the kids and I watched Bridge to Terebithia. I loved this book when I was a kid. Unfortunately, that was about 25 years ago, and my memory is a bit sketchy. So, we’re all happily munching popcorn and enjoying how these two adolescents engage their imaginations to create a fantasy world, and then, the next thing you know, Leslie is dead.

My husband, working on the computer across the way, has a very sensitive wife-has-lost-it-emotionally warning system (or perhaps he just could hear my sniffles and sobs), and he came over to see if I was okay. He’s not watching the movie; he has no idea that this girl has died. For all he knows, it’s just more post-partum weepiness which has me crying, at times, over completely insignificant things. But he knows, without duly expressed concern and compassion, he runs the risk of a snowball effect wherein I cry also because nobody cares, and then I cry more because I’m crying over something stupid, and how could I expect anybody to understand that…it can get quite ugly around here for these (thankfully) brief episodes.

“Blast it. I forgot the girl dies. I’ll be fine,” I managed to croak out, wiping away my tears, and regretting we didn’t just watch baseball instead. He expressed his concern, patted me on the head, and then went back to work.

Then Jenny started asking me, “Where did Wesley go?”

Leslie died, honey.”

“But where did Wesley go?”

“Heaven, honey, she’s dead.”

This kept up for a few minutes until she said, “Is she in the graveyard?”

“Yes, she’s in the graveyard.” This satisfied her, and finally, the topic could rest in peace.

After the movie, Fritz offered his opinion. “Why did they have her die? This is a kids’ movie. People aren’t supposed to die in kids’ movies.”

I nodded empathetically. “I agree. I think her death was completely superfluous.” Everybody just stared at me. Instead of asking for a definition of superfluous, they all just pretended I didn’t say anything at all. My words of comfort were wasted.

Off went the kids to bed, and then Bill had someone come over to work on a report, so I retreated to my TV-free bedroom. It was only later, as I was feeding the baby at her usual 11 pm oh-I’m-sorry-you-weren’t-trying-to-sleep-or-anything awake time, that I remembered to check the score.

It’s okay. It’s time to move on. Baseball in October is obscene. Instead of watching the World Series, maybe I’ll get some more kid-and-mom friendly movies.

Like Old Yeller.

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12 thoughts on “Not a good time for tragic plots

  1. I haven’t seen the movie. It looked as twisted from the original book as Ella Enchanted. But, her death was NOT superfluous. 🙂

  2. Sorry about the Tribe—honestly I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach living here if the Sox win it all AND the Patriots continue their dominance. I do like the sox, but we’re Bears fans around here.

  3. Hey, I just want you to know, that I, too, while being a rabid Red Sox fan, am sorry for all the Indian fans and the team. They had a great team this year. Plus, they haven’t won the World Series in, like, forever. And, I know what that feels like. So, if anyone was going to beat my guys, I wanted it to be them (NOT the YANKEES!) On the other hand, I’m glad my team won. So…By the way, you know what my son took out of Bridge to Terebithia (the book–haven’t seen the movie, yet)? He told me that the great thing is that he learned you can make another friend.

  4. No, not <>forever<>…it’s only been 59 YEARS. What’s that: THREE GENERATIONS??? Let’s not exaggerate and say “forever”, okay?But I do like that message – friends die, but we can always make new friends. Lovely. 🙂

  5. i read an essay over the summer by katherine paterson about why she wrote bridge to terabithia but it was so sad, i won’t tell you the details right now. you’ll just start crying again.

  6. I nearly cried at the Cleveland Indian’s playing. Yikes.I read “Bridge to Terebithia” earlier this year for the first time, it is sad.

  7. If you want another tear-jerker, read <>Where the Red Fern Grows<>. Our teacher read us that chapter by chapter in fourth grade, and by the end my friend and I were bawling, much to the scorn of our classmates.

  8. We saw this movie as a second feature at the drive in. We stayed to see it cause it looked so colorful, lively, interesting, and we thought it would be a nice feel good venture into the world of imagination….Yeah…My husband didn’t cry, but he shared with me his serious disappointment at the death of Leslie. Turns out it reminded him of a blond school girl he had a soft spot for who did die several years ago…and it kind of brought that back. It’s a good movie, but does need a warning sign ” contains slightly disturbing, will make you cry content.”

  9. I happen to have a signed copy of A Bridge to Terebithia because my cousin’s husband’s cousin IS Katherine Paterson. (if you aren’t Southern you won’t be able to figure out the connection :))I loved the book as a child, but even then it made me cry buckets, I can’t imagine watching the movie with post-partum hormones. You poor thing!

  10. If you’re looking for an upper, best not choose Old Yeller. His fate is the same as Leslie’s.

  11. You sound just like me postpartum, fighting between being wildly sarcastic, to becoming weepy and sorry for myself and the world! Thank God it only lasts a few weeks for me. It’s so much worse for so many women! My kids really liked that movie, even with the girl dying. I think the end of the movie brought hope so in their minds, it was (not good but) okay how it all played out. I think that because they hear the radio and the news, they realize (unfortunately) that the world sometimes works that way. “Old Yeller” heehee, yeah, that would be a good one for staving off depression! I can’t believe they showed us that one when we were in about 4th grade in Catholic school. I remember trying not to show that I was crying in the dark gym while I heard the sniffles and whimpers of the other children. Child torture, that’s all that was!

  12. Hope the tears stop all the same..mine were a more serious post-natal depression..am sure you’ll be fine..

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