As every parent knows, kids pay attention to what you say, more than you think. Even when you believe that you’re saying something just between adults, or something a bit boring that surely would not interest them, they utter something that makes you pause and say, “Oh, you heard that?”
Now, the Beloved Husband has been interested in screenwriting and screenplays lately, and likes to relate to us his new learnings and discoveries. It’s natural for the Girl to pay attention—she who is herself a pretty creative writer, and is an interested learner, and is patient, and is eager to please, and does what she’s told (as in, “Now don’t you want to come here and listen to what Papa has to say?”). She takes it all in with a great deal of interest, and she learns quickly, so that the two of them have conversations that are highly intriguing, at least to them. Lately, they’ve taken to watching movies together while eagerly peppering each other with questions:
“So do you think this is the Point of Attack?”
“The POA 1 or the POA 2?”
“Which one is the protagonist?”
“Can there be two?”
“And is this where Act Three would begin?”
So far, the Boy and I have steered clear from many of these conversations; for some reason, screenwriting just isn’t as fascinating to us two as it is to those two. And maybe screenwriting is more interesting to nine-year-olds who are writing their own stories, than it is to four-year-olds who are still in the beginner stages of reading and writing. We listen casually to the screenwriting conversations, but we don’t really pay attention. Or so I thought.
Last week, we were inside, watching a movie on a hot afternoon (How to Train Your Dragon), when the Boy turned to me and threw me for a loop. He asked, very soon into the movie, “So is this the Turning Point?”
“What?!” I whispered to him. “You know what a Turning Point is?”
“Yes. I’ve been listening to Papa.”
It made me realise just how we can so often assume that something is boring to, or over the head of, a youngster. And then they prove us wrong.
The next day, we watched another movie, and again, the Boy surprised me with his knowledge about Points of Attack and so forth. And you know what? He got it spot on.
It was indeed the Turning Point, in so many ways.