Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's the little things

One of the things that strikes me about parenthood is the tiny things that show up in day-to-day life where, if you're paying attention, you can tell that you're doing a decent job. I wonder if sometimes we're waiting for The BIG Moments In Our Kids' Lives, to see what they do, and we don't notice the little moments.

Case in point: The Daughter has been going outside with the new circle of friends she's found here lately. At about six o'clock, though, her friends all had to go inside (dinnertime, a trip to the store, and so on), so The Daughter came in for the night. I was just sitting down to feed Little Quinn and watch a movie, and the movie in question was the Errol Flynn flick The Sea Hawk, which is one of my all-time favorite films.

As the opening credits began to roll, The Daughter asked me, "What kind of movie is this?"

"It's an old pirate movie," I told her. "This movie came out when your grandparents were children. But that doesn't matter. It's still a good movie."

"Are the pirates bad guys?"

"Actually, in this movie, the pirates are good guys. The bad guys are Spaniards."

"What are Spaniards?"

"People from Spain."

"Oh." She watched a minute as the credits continued to roll, and as the wonderful Korngold score swelled into its secondary theme. "Is the movie in colors, or is it gray all the time?"

"It's called 'black-and-white'," I told her. "There's no color in this movie. A lot of movies used to be this way."

"Oh. I think I'll go play out on the balcony." And as she said this, she sat down on the floor. "I'll go outside as soon as I see what the pirates look like."

"That's fine."

The next time she got up was when "THE END" appeared on the screen, two hours later. And she cheered the heroic exploits of Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn); hissed the nefarious Lord Wolfingham and his co-conspirator, Don Alvarez (Claude Rains); said "Oh no!" when Thorpe's lover, Donna Maria, arrived at Dover too late to warn him of the Spanish trap awaiting him; she cheered when Thorpe and his friends made their escape on a stolen Spanish galleon.

I'm doing something right here.

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