Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, March 16, 2015

Just Because You Loved Him

Okay, he's cute!
Our family was at the movies.
We had popcorn and treats.
Soft drinks.
And the quickest route to the bathroom mapped into our heads.
We were ready.
Erik was four and a little more than eager.
The theater darkened slowly.
Expectation grew.
They don't do this any more, but in times past, every step to the opening of a movie served to heighten the anticipation to a fever pitch.
Slowly lowered lights.
Projector springing to life.
Train of white light beamed on the still-closed curtains.
Said curtains slowly drawing back.
Pictures suddenly appearing.
Sound.
It was inspired.
Everyone in the theater was transfixed.
Hands which only recently had been scrabbling (Grandpa's word) through the popcorn hung suspended, unmoving.
The audience waited, barely breathing, for the first signs of Movie.
And then it finally came, restoring breath and life to those watching.
And they were truly prepared to be entertained. Even bewitched.
Our movie that night was ET. The story about the little Extra Terrestrial.
It began . . .
Cute little kids and family interaction.
ET was introduced.
Erik crawled into my lap and announced in what he fondly believed was a whisper, “I don't like him. He's scary!”
Not scary enough that he wanted to leave, however.
He watched as the children in the movie befriended the helpless, stranded little alien.
Adopted him.
Loved him.
(Spoiler alert . . .)
He cried when ET 'died'.
And cried, again, when he came back to life.
At the end of the movie, he sighed happily and followed the rest of us out of the theater.
On the way home, as usual, we talked about the film and Erik posed the question, “Why was ET so much cuter at the end of the movie than at the beginning?”
I stared at him. “He was just the same, sweetie.”
“No. He was cuter at the end.”
We thought about it. How could something that really never changed in looks get 'better' looking?
And then it hit me. “Because, at the end, you loved him, sweetie.”
“Oh. Right.”
And it was true. The ugly little alien remained ugly until we got to know him.
Loved him.
And then we saw his beauty.
Truth comes best from a four-year-old.

16 comments:

  1. Erik asked a very, very good question - and got a marvellous answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a question that got the mind going . . . :)

      Delete
  2. Personally, I thought he was ugly right through the movie. But then, I was a little older than Erik. And, for the record, I enjoyed the movie despite the 'peanut gallery' taking and saying what a crock it was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you hate that? Disparaging comments from the near and/or dear? Sigh.

      Delete
  3. I love the last line. Isn't that true about four year olds and truth?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Best question ever. And most definitely the best answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ocassionally, we parents get it right. Occasionally . . .

      Delete
  5. I love every single one of your stories - but this is my favorite so far. Simple and beautiful and oh so true. Brought a little tear to my eyes! Sharing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Lana! Sorry about the tear . . .

      Delete
  6. I remember my first viewing of ET, the whole family went along with friends and we just about filled that row of seats. I don't think any of us took our eyes off the screen even once. I haven't watched it in a long while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't watched it for a long time, either. Maybe it's time to show it to my grandkids . . .

      Delete

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