Ever since being pregnant with kiddo (back in 2001) I’ve been extra-emotional about some things. Tears well up in my eyes whenever certain songs come on, or when there is an especially touching commercial on (thanks to DVR I can fast forward through most commercials now though), or when I’m really involved in a movie or tv show. (It is the exact opposite in everyday life; I hardly ever cry even when faced with tragedy.)
However, I have never in my life been brought to tears by a book. Why? Well, I have a few theories. First, I think I read too quickly to be emotional. It’s hard to get worked up over something when you already moving on to the next part of the story. And second, emotion for me is much for sense-oriented; I need sounds or sights to bring on an emotional response.
Being a typical guy in many ways, Hubby is not a crier. Usually he just rolls his eyes at the movies I’m sobbing over, or gives me a hug when I tear up over a special song. He can get emotional when it comes to kiddo though (and I love that about him).
He's also not a big reader but I do know for a fact that there is one book that made him cry: Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. This book really hit him hard (I talked about that here). I’ve not read it myself, but both of us have recommended it to several of the men in our lives and they have all been impacted by it.
As for kiddo, he is a very “feeling” child. He gets his feelings hurt easily but he also cares deeply about other people’s feelings. It has been interesting seeing how he reacts to movies and books that have emotional parts. Last week he and I watched the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie, THE RETURN OF THE KING. [We could have an entire conversation about whether this is appropriate for a 7 year old child or not, but that’s for another day.] I’m assuming everyone knows what happens at the end of the movie, but if you don’t want to know, then skip the following paragraph.
Anyway … at the end of the movie when Gandalf was leaving to go on the Elvish ship, kiddo teared up. We talked about it and he said that he’d miss Gandalf and that he felt sorry for the hobbits. Then Frodo announces that he is leaving too, and kiddo cried even harder. Of course, the other three hobbits were crying at this point as well. After the movie ended, kiddo cuddled up in my lap and cried for a while. We talked some more and he said that he really did like the movie, but that he was sad that they’d never see each other again. So I told him that since there wasn’t another book in the series, he could make up whatever new story he wanted – the characters could all get together again in *his* story, if that is what he wanted. Needless to say, he really like that idea and he felt much better at that point.
The same thing happened in a book I’m reading to him. We’re in the middle of THE ARK, THE REED, AND THE FIRE CLOUD by Jenny Cote. There have been hints that one particular character is going to die, and sure enough it finally happened. I can always tell when kiddo is going to cry because he starts smiling really strangely – it’s his way of fighting back the tears. I assured him that it is ok to be sad, and that the characters in the book were sad as well. This time he was able to keep back all but a few tears and didn’t need too much extra cuddling.
It was amazing to me to watch kiddo, in both the movie and the book situations, to see how he reacted to the stories being told.
Strange gal that I am, I cried in the battle scenes in Lord of the Rings (I’m a sucker for heroism) and not at the end (kiddo thought that was pretty funny by the way).
Now I want to know … am I an odd duck? What do most other people do? What do YOU do? Are you a movie crier, a book crier, a non-crier? Go vote, and feel free to expound in the comments.