After three hours of watching Les Miserables 10th anniversary on television (parents don’t do this at home – it broke everyone of my own screen time rules!), Keith was in very deep thoughts. He was very emotional throughout the concert, though he really had been wanting to understand justice and mercy.
He has been playing out heroes and villains. He calls it “good guy” and “bad guy”. He loves “look down”. He makes his daddy sing it. He makes his music teachers sing it. He listens deeply to the lyrics. He really wants to know why are the men in the chain gang in so much anguish. He couldn’t understand it.
I bought him some books about explaining social justice to children. He was still not getting the answers he was seeking.
So he watched the 3 hours. Throughout, we are talking about Jean Valjean’s transformation and growth in his life journey to his 13 year old sister. At the end of the musical, during the closing song, “One Day More”, it was resolved:
The way of mercy is the way of true justice.
To love another person is to see the face of God. – Victor Hugo.
Keith didn’t say anything. He just listened intently to the lyrics. He listened to every part of the characters and their emotions through the music.
After the part when it was sung “everyone will be a king”, Keith suddenly pointed to the television and said,”King!”
Then he went for dinner and he suddenly had a bout of throwing up during dinner. He didn’t have his dinner. We had to change him in public. He didn’t fuss. He held himself calmly and endured the onset of a gastric flu bravely.
Just before bedtime, he was still deep in thoughts. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “Good guy!” “Who is the good guy?” I asked him. He didn’t miss a beat. He concluded proudly,”King.” And he added with full gusto, gesturing to his heart, “Keith’s heart.”
And he went to bed in deep contentment even though he wasn’t able to have any food that evening.
July 30, 2016