On Ratatouille and Vocation

Dear Munchkin,

I made a simple ratatouille for dinner. As it grew close to serving time, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: we could watch Disney’s Ratatouille as a family while eating its namesake! You’ve seen other Disney movies already, and you even watched Frozen in the movie theater earlier this year. We know you’re sensitive, but both Daddy and I thought Ratatouille was pretty innocuous. And in the past, when you’ve been frightened or nervous, you’ve covered your eyes or simply left the viewing area.

We were completely unprepared for your reaction.

You started getting antsy early on, when Remy and Emil were in the farmhouse kitchen. Then during the chase sequence, you completely broke down into hysterical tears, nearly hyperventilating. But you didn’t stop watching! Daddy and I were both trying to soothe you and keep you calm, but we wound up having to stop the movie to let you recover.

We thought we were done for the night, but a few minutes later, you asked if we could turn the movie back on. We agreed to give it another shot, but it wasn’t long before you were getting worked up again. Although we eventually made it through the whole movie, it was with multiple stops and starts, and continuous efforts on our part to help you deal with the storyline.

Munchkin, you have such empathy for others, be they friends, family or fictional characters. Though it may cause you a great deal of pain and heartache, it can also bring you a great deal of joy. I imagine you in some kind of compassionate vocation, using your sensitivity to minister to the suffering. When you were 3, you told your preschool teacher you wanted to be a nurse. Now you say you want to be a Princess Rescue Girl, which, as far as we can make out, is some kind of cross between a police officer, firefighter, and super hero. You have the determination to be great at whatever you set out to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what path you choose.

In the meantime, we learned a lesson: at least for a while yet, we need to read the book adaptations and discuss movies before you watch them.


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