The boys have become obsessed with Futurama and have watched a large number of old episodes. Generally, Futurama is harmless. However, recently there was an episode that I could have done without.
David and Michael were watching. Chris had gone to bed and I was, I think, reading my book. I was in the same room as the TV, but I wasn’t paying any attention. When the episode was nearly over, I looked up at the TV and saw Fry’s (the main character) dog sitting outside the pizza place where Fry worked. And Fry’s dog was shown aging and then eventually as a skeleton.
The gist of the episode, called Jurassic Bark, was that Fry’s dog waited for him to return and he never did because while he was out on a delivery he was frozen (cryogenics) and wasn’t awakened for 1,000 years.
But I didn’t realize this when the boys were watching.
As the episode was ending, I looked over at Michael. He was beginning to cry. He looked so distressed. It was just awful. I asked him what was wrong and then he did start to cry. David and I both went over to him. David said, “It’s ok little buddy. Don’t cry.” And of course, Michael started crying more. David and I were both standing there, hugging Michael and David asked Michael not to cry because, “it would make him cry too.” And then all three of us were crying.
It is possible that Michael would have been upset if Chris didn’t have cancer, he is an animal lover, but cancer seems to color our lives. Nothing touches us in the same way as it did before Chris was diagnosed. Life is somehow more precious. And death is more prevalent in our minds.
It is something that I wish I would have been able to shield the boys from, but it is part of life and unfortunately, they have had to face this part of life at tender ages. I don’t remember having to face the possibility of someone I loved dying until my Nana died when I was in college, and she was in her 90’s. It is very different when you are still a kid, I would imagine.
The boys tell me and Chris they love us whenever they get off the phone with us. They also tell each other, every time. They hug each other more frequently than I would have imagined for boys. And they still kiss each other. David holds my hand in public and he will kiss me on the cheek or the top of the head. Michael is a little less affectionate in public, but he is still very interested in snuggling. Both boys snuggle with Chris (to the point of him being touched-out) and want to be by him.
Raising the boys to be sensitive, compassionate men has been a priority for me. And I believe that I have been doing a good job, especially before Chris’ diagnosis. But, Chris’ diagnosis added a dimension that I did not account for and has resulted in a maturity and outlook that is beyond their years. I wish that I could have protected them longer and shielded them. But, it would have been unfair and insulting to them. But as their mother, it would have been nice to keep them little a bit longer, because even without cancer impacting their families, kids grow up too fast.