Monday, April 24, 2006

at the movies

Yesterday, as part of our weekly Family Day, Nikki and I took Sage, along with her Ninong Vin and Uncle Andrew, to watch "Eight Below". Sage loves films, watching her cache of DVDs - but she especially loves the big screeen, with its amped up volume and gigantic screen.

It was Vin who suggested the film.

Nikki: But it's a sad doggy movie.

Me: I think, of the 8 dogs, several will die.

Vin: ...

Me: Okay, I'll handle it. Sage, come here.

Sage: Yes, Dad?

Me: Guess what we're going to do?

Sage: What?

Me: We're going out to watch a movie!

Sage: Whoohoo!

Me: A sad doggy movie!!!

Sage: Huh?

Me: Yup! Remember how sometimes we like reading sad things?

Sage: Like "The Giving Tree"?

Me: Yup.

Sage: But only sometimes, Dad. I like it when it's happy.

Me: Yes, but this movie is special.

Sage: A sad doggy movie? Does a doggy die?

Me: Well...yes.

Sage: Why?

Me: We need to watch the movie to see why.

Sage: It will make me a bit sad and I'll cry.

Me: Me too. But we'll be together, right?

Sage: Right.

Me: So are we excited? Huh? Aren't we excited?

Sage: Yes, we are!

Me: Whoohoo!

Sage: Whoohoo!

And so, with light hearts we went to watch a film about dogs in Antarctica. Midway through, before all the deaths, Sage leans over to me.

Sage: Dad, it's so quiet.

Me: Yup.

Sage: No, Dad. I mean, everyone is quiet here.

Me: Because no one is supposed to talk while they watch a movie.

Sage: But people were noisy when we watched "Madagascar".

Me: Because at that movie, there were a lot of kids asking their daddies questions.

Sage: Like me?

Me: Shhh. Sit down and watch.

She watches for a while.

Sage: Dad?

Me: What?

Sage: Dad, I'm bored.

Me: What? How can you be bored with this sad doggy movie?

Sage: But I am, Dad. I want to do something else.

Me: Well, you can't. We paid to watch this movie and we'll finish it.

Sage: Oooo-kay.

Me: Now, shhh.

She watches for a while.

Sage: Dad?

Me: Sage, come with me, we're moving to the front.

We walk to the very front of the theatre. The nice thing about the swanky Shangri-la movie houses is that - because of the prohibitive cost of the tickets - less people watch and the place is very clean. Sage and I take seats.

Sage: Dad, can I play on the carpet?

Dad: For as long as you are quiet and do not lick it.

Sage: DAD! I promise I won't lick it! Silly Dad. And I'll be quiet.

So she plays on the carpet, later asking for her papers and markers, drawing and rolling around in utter silence. During an exciting part of the film, she is taken by surprise by the appearance of a terrifying animal and runs all the way back to me. Her mother, who had also moved to sit with us, was grasping one of my arms while Sage struggled to climb up on me.

Sage: Dad! I'm scared.

Me: Sweetie, I'm scared too. So is Mommy. It's okay to be scared but remember that it's only a movie, okay?

During the very sad part, it was her mother and father, softies that we are, more than Sage, who had tears in their eyes.

Nikki (to Dean): I told you it was a sad doggy movie.

Me: I feel so sad...

Sage: It's okay, Dad. It's just a movie.

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