April 9 — WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, Jackie DeShannon (1965)

IMG_1756“I know which part was your favorite,” Luke said to me. We had just seen the movie “Boss Baby” this afternoon and were eating ice cream next door. “The sad parts.”

He and Lauren harass me for liking sad songs, sad movies, sad books. It’s a family joke. But the thing is, they’re right. Give me Tom Waits wailing in a bar, alone at night. Bring on dysfunctional, imperfect characters in literature. Longing, regret, loneliness. I know, it’s a peculiar draw for a good-natured fellow.

Which doesn’t explain why I’ve been moved by so many kids’ movies. Always, the lessons are so fundamental, so basic. Loyalty. Perseverance. Kindness. Family.

One minute I’ve got my feet propped up, eating popcorn, enjoying a matinee. The next, a life lesson barrels over me, knocks me flat when I didn’t see it coming. Then the lights come up, the credits roll, and Luke is ready to go get ice cream. “Just a minute,” I say. “I’ve got something in my eye.”

Damn you, happy endings.


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