Monday, January 28, 2008

Life lessons

Jim and I had a date last night, we went out for dinner and also checked out the casino. Neither of us are big on gambling, but every year or so, we take a ride and give it a whirl. We generally have NO clue what we are doing, just push the button, pull the handle...hope to hear bells and whistles go off. (For the bells no whistles.) Kristin watched Jesse & Ciarra while we were gone, which was very nice. She is 19 today, grown up into a very intelligent and funny young lady.

Kristin's friend Davey came over to hang out, too, he and Jesse play Guitar Hero till their fingers hurt. Ciarra is pretty independent, she usually watches movies or colors, or plays PS2 in her room. Last night, she was snuggled up with Davey on the couch watching Titanic with them. We got home towards the end of the movie, were Rose uses an axe to free Jack from the pole. I watched her watch that, cringed a little (we dont shelter her, we just..dont....expose her to grownup moveis much..ok maybe we shelter her a little, shes awfully innocent yet) She took the axe part fine, and I watched her watching the movie, kind of curious how she would handle it. It isnt brutal, graphic, or bloody. But there is a lot of death, a lot of high emotion. How would she handle it?

She was fine till the very end of the movie. She asked a few questions, why did that big boat break apart? Did all the people who fell off it die? But those people were nameless, faceless. She seemed to be rooting for Jack and Rose. When the had gone under with the ship, she excitedly called out "Jack! Come up, Rose is right there." She was relieved to see him pop up. She said "good" when Jack put Rose on the board and held her hands. But she got increasingly worried as their faces turned blue and Jack started shaking uncontrollably. I looked at her, and saw tears welling in her eyes. She asked me "Is that real, Mom?" How do you explain that those are actors, but that the story is real, and that many real people died that day? She was very sad, but you could tell she was still intently watching to see the heroe make it through. In Ciarra's world, the good guys always win. Zack and Cody always find a way out of trouble, SpongeBob & Patrick make it through their misadventures. They all live happily ever after in the stories she knows. But not in this one, and this one is so real that it made her think about her own life, her own loves, and losing them.

As Jack slipped under water, she said "Mom, why is Jack falling under the water?" I explained that he was too cold to hold on, and she told me that "Rose should not let go of his hands." I had to explain that Rose let go because Jack had died, and she needed to save herself. Ciarra turned back to watch and snuggled in a little tighter, grabbing my hand and gripping it hard. :( She asked me if Jack would go to Heaven when he died, and I told her yes. I told her that everyone goes to Hevaen someday, that we see the people we love again after we die. She said that her family was not going to die, not ever. I told her gently that everybody dies, that as long as we believed, we would be together again. She looked up at me with big tears streaking her face. And then quietly turned back to the movie.

Rose was old now, and talking to some folks about jack, the boat sinking, and her life. Ciarra had a hard time understanding that that really WAS Rose, and that she was old now. More questions. Why was Rose old, why was she a grandma now (Grandma being anyone who is old and gray) I told her that everyone gets older, that I would be old and a Grandma someday too. Bad answer, Mom. She burst out crying, and told me "No, you stay my mom, forever, you stay you here with me". I guess I am a bad mom, cause I lied to my girl, I told her I would stay this way forever, and be her mom, and not get old. I did explain that she is the same girl she was when she was a baby, just older. She said no, she was not getting old, either, she was going to stay just Ciarra. I knew that this movie was too much for her, too grown up and way too full of loss. When Rose died in her room, I told Ciarra that she was going to Heaven, and that Jack would be there, and they would be happy together again. I have never really paid attention to this movie before, but I was relieved to see them show a youthful Rose running into Jack's arms surrounded by all of the Titanic passengers. It was enough to stop the tears and quell the questions. But still, she clung to my hand, kissed my cheek, and told me that "we arent going to get old, are we mum?" We can talk about that another time, baby girl.

1 comment:

Megan's got 47 said...

first, I am sobbing here...for Ciarra being so amazingly brilliant and because that movie always makes me cry. I think if she was asking all those questions then she was mature enough for the answers (although we might not like them). I think this movie was good for her and you, it may have cleared up any questions or concerns she may have had about death.
Give Ciarra a BIG squeeze from me!