Roger and Terms Of Endearment

Did your kids have a movie or TV show they were engrossed with and yet touched your heart? My son had one.

To Roger…

Most people have a favorite movie or TV show. I can remember my own favorites, some of which I still love as an adult, like Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. You had, like most kids, an all-time favorite movie as a little boy: Terms of Endearment, which starred Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, John Lithgow, and others.

I really do not remember how you got so interested in that flick, which I liked too but you watched it over and over and over—never seeming to tire of its story and plot. That movie was not the type of movie most children would enjoy. There was no sign of friendly animals, superheroes, or kindly village elders visible at all. In some ways, the characters were quite the opposite of what would be seen in a kid’s show. You had the main stars, Shirley and Jack, along with others, who were eccentric, somewhat lacking in morals, or simply colorful. All in all, it was an interesting and entertaining movie, albeit one with a sad ending.

While the ending was sad, it was still the story of a family. Perhaps the family element, even though not one cast from the 1950’s Leave It to Beaver mold, is what appealed to you. Or maybe it was the little kids of the character Emma, whom you might have identified with. One day, I guess I will need to ask you why you liked it so much so I will really know.

Regardless of why you liked it, I grew to like it as well. How could I not enjoy it after seeing it literally dozens of times with you? I even ordered its soundtrack and enjoyed listening to it in my car while driving to work. What you the little son liked, so did the dad.

Perhaps, that is what I ultimately got out of watching that now decades old and mostly forgotten movie. That is, your children can expose you to things you never thought you would like. As parents, we try to do things with our kids to broaden their horizons. But this was a case where the total opposite happened—I learned to like something new because of you.

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