Thursday, September 05, 2013


Not officially on the list, I had to mention this before everything else because it has absolutely 100% in every way been THE theme of this summer.  The Titanic, that is.  I don't even know how it began. One day something reminded me of it, and always having been fascinated by it, I told Julian the story. This true child of my loins latched onto it and we both have been ob-sessed.  I have never paid such a tribute to a historical event in all of my life as to dedicate an entire summer(+) to it.   I have wept repeatedly over it, learned about it many times over, adding something new every time, read countless (ok like 4) books [children].   I even saw a Nova program on it called Why Ships Sink, which we all watched one night, as a family slumber party. Because we're all a bunch of nerds.

I swear to you, you can ask Julian or me an-y-thing about it.  We will know the answer.  I briefly mentioned this a few posts back.  Julian would ask me about it, we'd talk about it, he'd pretend play "Titanic."

The following is a dialogue between he and I telling the story. I'm pretty excellent at dictation and I figure this is as good a way as any to give you a brief recap of what happened to the Titanic, if you don't already know.

Jen: Hey Julian, I need you to tell me the story of the Titanic.

Julian: I don't know if I can.  I don't know the words.

Jen: Yes, you do!

Julian: I don't know if I do.

Jen: I can help you.

Julian: Can you?

Jen: Yeah, let's start.  Ok. SO. once upon a time, a long time ago, 100 years ago, there was a big BIG BIG....

Julian: ship!

Jen: And the name of that big, big ship was...

Julian: ..was the Titanic!

Jen: Can you tell me about the Titanic? What did it look like?  What was on the inside?

Julian: Chairs and tables and big rooms and little rooms and kids and beds.

Jen: Where was the Titanic traveling to?

Julian: To New York.

Jen: Do you remember the season?

Julian: I don't know!

Jen: It was springtime. So what happened to the Titanic? It was going along on the ocean and one night, something horrible happened!

Julian: It hit an iceberg!

Jen: Was it a little hole?

Julian: No, it was  BIG hole.  It tore off the rivets and it sunk and sunk and sunk.  It broke in half-- *kkkkkt!*

Jen: But before it hit the iceberg, a ship tried to warn them called the...

Julian: Californian...

Jen: ... and they sent a message on the telegraph. *beep beep beep beep!* Slow down, there are icebergs in the area! But did they listen?

Julian: No. 

Jen: No. They said, get off the telegraph! So late that night they hit the ice berg. Did they call for help?

Julian: Yeah. The Carpathia came to help them.

Jen: Were they close by?

Julian: No, they were.. 1...2...3...4..5 6 7891011-12-19-20

Jen: Ok, they were FOUR hours away.  It took 3 hours for the Titanic to sink.

Julian: Yeah. Some people survived, but some people didn't. The Titanic was under water and it was four hours to sink.

Jen: What happened to the people?

Julian: Some of them died, some of them didn't.

Jen: How did they die?

Julian: HOW did they die? They froze to death in water.

Jen: So the Carpathia came and rescued the people who were on the lifeboats, right?


And that's the end of the story, or at least the important parts, or at least when Julian ran off, refusing to say any more.

I will really try not to blather on but it has been such a constant part of my everyday life, I have to pay proper tribute, and what better way than to force everyone who chooses to read my blog to hear all I have to say about it?

One day we were at the computer and we decided to look at some pictures. We also watched a bit of the movie but i really didn't want to show too much of it because I didn't want Julian's little heart to break when Jack and Rose have to say goodbye. Nothing is more moving to him than an epic love story.  You think I'm joking but when we watched a slide show of before pics set to the Hymn to the Sea, as mentioned in that post, he really did break down in THE saddest sobs you've ever heard. He is a tenderheart, a sensitive soul to the max when it comes to music.   Since that moment, that song has been his FAVORITE, having officially replaced Firework, and he has me sing it at all times.  But remember: I cannot play him the actual song, Celine's version or otherwise because it is TOO sad. He literally cannot bear it. His emotions overcome him and it is just too much.  I can hardly play it on the piano. Which is odd because you'd think if it was his favorite, he'd want to hear it. Nope.  I try and he flips out.  So we just sing it.  I laugh when I hear him singing to his cars, "Near, far, wherever you are! I believe..."   It's touching, really.  The heart really does go on.

It goes on all summer long.  I can't get over the stories of the passengers.  I can handle the actual event, the sinking ship and ripping in half, but when I read about people's stories and families being torn apart, their shock and horror, I break down. Julian is so used to it that he instinctively comforts me and it's all so silly, I just don't even know what to say.  But one night I was trying to figure out what the hey to make for dinner when a miracle of an epicurious nature befell me. First, that I made dinner--whaa?! But second, I was cooking up some porkchops and staring at some romaine lettuce in the face when inspiration hit me back.  I stumbled, then chopped up some of this and that, mixed in a little of this and a lot of that and VOILA:

TITANIC BOATS!!  I handed it to Julian and told him what it was and that his mouth was the iceberg and all the food inside were the people falling out!! Ahahahaha!  And then I died at my own cleverness.  And I realize that sounds extremely insensitive but believe me, I give it due reverence. So much, that sometimes you just have to make it lighthearted.  Anyway, this is dumb and not as fun to anyone but me but the boy was thrilled and I was too.

For Julian's birthday, he received some Titanic books. One such book we read at Barnes and Noble one day.  At the next few visits, he would request this same book until they rearranged the display, making the book hard to find, and I finally got a clue. I sneakily found it, stashed it away and gave it to him for his birthday:

His friend visited an aquarium on a trip to Mystic, CT where there was a Titanic exhibit and also brought him back a Titanic book AND a small rubber Titanic toy which I was happy about because I was scouring the internets for a decent toy with no luck.  We took it with us on our own trip to Mystic a week later (copycats) where we brought it with us to the beach. Julian and Sean were digging a hole when a monster wave suddenly attacked, smacked down upon them, swiping the boat and swallowing it into the sea, never to be seen by us again.  We mourned the irony-- "Not again! It sank TWICE! Auughhh! "  and enjoyed picturing someone, someday, finding it and how fun that would be.  Julian was pretty upset and we kept our plans of visiting the aquarium and its attached Titanic exhibit  a secret until that moment when we were there, we directed his line of vision to the place of the small rubber boats and each experienced a piece of a little boy's dreams.   The whole thing is near and dear to my heart, people.  We heart the Titanic, and so should you. 


This just in. I've been up late typing this. It was about 12:30 when I stopped and as I was washing my face I had an image enter my mind of Julian getting up which he rarely does so late at night, and coming to me for something. Just then I heard him say, "mom" and there he was behind me. Although it scared the bijeebus out of me, I calmly asked him what was up.  He needed to take care of some business and then back in his bed he asked me, "Mom... (long pause)... Was the Californian far away?"    "No," I said.  "It was close, but it had turned its radio off, so they didn't know the Titanic needed help."   "And they just went to bed?"  "Yep."   "That's wacky!"   I let him talk longer because I can't resist the middle-of-the-night nonsensical jabber from the mouths of babes, but then he started telling me about the Taking Boy, how it had no body and no face and was an alien in space, and that killed my buzz.  (click here for reference, if you dare.)


Alanna said...

I don't know if you know this or not, but my sister Natalie is COMPLETELY obsessed with the Titanic. Like, she saw that movie 6 times in the theater (and I don't even want to know how many times she saw it on video...). Anyway, now I know one of the reasons why you two would be such good friends. Aside from the obvious that Natalie is totally awesome and anyone would want to be her friend!

Shilo Mayer said...

I went through a phase where I was also obsessed with the Titanic. I feel a special kinship with you and Julian over this. When I was in High School my doctor asked me if he thought I died on the Titanic in a past life... Ummm?!?

)en said...

Ha ha! Wait.. maybe that's true for me too?? It would explain so much, like why I like to wear floor-length dresses and corsets and have 11-course meals. (obviously i would be the upper class)

Alanna, love it-- just add that to the list. Natalie and i have so much in common! It's kind of eerie. :)

Except, how could she see it 6 times in the theater?? How could a human heart take that...