Katie is home sick. Again. She's missing a lot of school but she's getting quite the homeschool film studies education.
She's lying on the couch. I ask if she wants to pick out a movie to watch.
"You pick it out. Surprise me. But there is only one rule. Do not pick out The Lion King," Katie instructs.
"Why don't you like The Lion King?" I ask, chuckling. I don't like it either, but I want to see why she doesn't.
"The Lion King is terrifying!" Katie wiggles further under the covers on the couch.
"Because his dad dies?" I ask.
"But what about Bambi? You'll watch Bambi, but, remember, his mommy dies?" I say.
"Mom, The Lion King is more terrifying than Bambi because lions are king of the wild and Bambi is just a sweet little deer."
"But that's so sad that a sweet little deer loses his mother!" I argue.
"Mom," Katie says, putting her hand on my shoulder and looking me in the eye solidly. Even though hers are glassy and feverish, they aren't wet like mine. "It's OK. There are two rules now. No Lion King and no Bambi."
I stand up to look at our movie collection. We still have a working VCR and quite a selection of old VHS tapes Will's picked up for a buck here and there. "So something funny?"
"Or adventurous! But not The Lion King!"
"Right. Or Bambi!"
We settle for Mary Poppins.
Katie begins humming a song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks when she sees me pop it into the machine. "That's not from Mary Poppins," I say.
"Oh yeah. Well, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is like Mary Poppins," Katie informs me.
"Oh yeah. They're both musicals," I say.
"What's a musical?"
"It's a story where the characters don't just talk but they sing too," I explain.
"But they don't just sing?" Katie clarifies.
"Right." I almost say, "That would be opera," but I don't. I'm afraid she'll want examples and I'm ready for my coffee break. This homeschool film studies teaching gig doesn't pay anything so I have to make sure I at least get my breaks. Wear's my robe?