Okay, so I’m happily reading along in a nice little tween book, and I’ve read quite a few of these now, so the general direction of the plot is usually not a surprise. But before long, when the cute little troubled girl protagonist finally gets adopted by her former step dad, who, as it has been made abundantly clear, can offer her a better life than her unstable mother, I find myself sitting in my car with the book in my lap, sobbing—complete monster tears dripping down the face, nose running…sobbing! At this point, I am really, really hoping that I don’t see anyone else I know in the school parking lot who might notice that I look like a puffy-eyed crazy woman! And do I carry Kleenex in my car for just this sort of occasion? Of course not.
Anyway, once I was able to collect myself, it occurred to me that I was completely losing myself over a book for a ten year old. Yikes! I am a forty-something gal, to whom these plot twists are rather predictable. Books in the 9-12 year old category rarely have a truly sad ending (consider the audience—plenty of time for those books later), and yet, here I am crying my eyes out (and it’s really not the first time, actually). Why??? In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a tendency to get a bit weepy sometimes in a nice coffee commercial, and I do love a good, trashy teen movie now and again, but I digress.
Maybe, to make myself feel better, I think that I’m crying because with my older, wiser view of the world, I can cry for the happy life that little girl will get a chance to have. I can cry for the beauty of the step-parent who went above and beyond for a child who was no longer his. I can cry for that poor mother, who even though she made a lot of mistakes, was still going to lose her daughter to another family. None of these are thoughts the intended audience of ten year olds is likely to have, so maybe I have some adult insight that makes me cry. Or maybe I’m just a sap.
Is it just me, or would you cry too? Waiting for Normal