Marley and Me

If you haven't seen the movie or read the book...be warned, I give away the ending.

Our family enjoys the convenience of Netflix. One of our recent movies was Marley and Me. I knew that Marley died at the end of the movie, so when Abby asked to watch, we told her we would need to watch first and then we could decide.

If you have ever watched a movie with me, you know I cry pretty easy...I cried at Lilo and Stitch with my niece years ago. Anyway, I balled my eyes out at the end of Marley and Me. Knowing Abby's heart and her emotions, I knew she would be upset if she watched the movie, so we decided to forgo a family viewing.

Apparently, I'm a little more protective than other parents and Abby has continued to ask to watch the movie - peer pressure at 5 years old! Before we watched the movie, I sat Abby down and we talked about what happens sometimes when people get old and sick. She has some understanding because her great-grandfather passed away and she can relate (if only on a child's level). I explained that the same thing can happen when dogs get old and sick. She understood what I was telling her, you could see the recognition on her face. After a few seconds, she told me that she still wanted to watch the movie.

We decided to watch it last night following dinner. Abby really enjoyed the movie. I dozed off with about 30 minutes left and I was awakened by hushed sniffling followed by muted wailing. I sat up and looked...they were at the very end when they bury Marley and put things in the grave for him. Abby was upset, but she wanted to watch all of the movie. She climbed up in my lap and watched the rest. It took a little while to get all the tears out. I reminded her that the movie was pretend and the dog that pretended to be Marley was OK.

As soon as the movie was over, she asked to watch it again. (I think she's going to enjoy chick-flicks!)

As I put her to bed, she squished up some feather pillows and laid them beside her. I asked what she was doing and she told me, "It's Marley, Mom. He's going to sleep with me."

I'm amazed at how blessed I am...to have a compassionate child who loves all living things.

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