Titanic Problems… or ‘Never let four twelve year-old girls plan an outing”

Last Wednesday was a half day for my kids at school.  Unscheduled (it’s not on the school or district calendar) half days are a headache for any parent.  It means kids are home for an extra three to four hours, and for twelve year-old girls, finding an extra four hours without parental supervision means it’s time to plan an outing.

My daughter and her friends planned to go see Titanic.  One problem-almost all the parents were at work and there was no transportation.  All of the moms who had to give approval agreed that the girls could not go to the movies without adult supervision, and since most of us didn’t get out of work until 5 and had other children that couldn’t be left alone and I had Cub Scouts to interpret for after and the Titanic is almost three hours long and it was a school day so everyone had to be back before 9–the girls had a serious flaw in their plan:  No parents available.

Just so you remember all the hype we faced when these twelve year-old girls were still too young to care anything about romance, here’s the teaser/trailer:

Enter Grandpa.

My father is a Vietnam Vet who raised his kids with military style punishments for non-completion of chores.  His favorite movies are war movies.  He raised us playing baseball, basketball, hunting, shooting and whatever manly thing he could think of.  Yes, even his daughters.  He doesn’t like when I say this, but… I was his firstborn son.

My mom is an angelic, artistic, feminine former beauty-queen, but he only goes to the movies she wants to see because it’s his “duty.”

Lets just say he’s not the type you ask to go to a chick flick.

But…  Being grandpa is also a “duty” he takes very seriously.

I didn’t really have time to imagine what it must have been like for a 60-something year old Vet to endure the company of almost a half dozen twelve year-old girls, I was too busy interpreting and fending off questions from two dozen boys under twelve.  My husband, the lucky deaf-blind guy who could have endured it all but isn’t exactly the right sort of chaperone for 12 year-old girls in a theater and someone has to be dad to my son at Scouts.

When Cub Scouts was over, we made it home to discover Grandpa and my daughter still weren’t home.  They didn’t arrive until almost ‘lights out’ was going to be called at 9 pm.  But like the good soldier he is, my Dad got my daughter home before the bugler played.

His words upon arrival said all I needed to know:

“Oh my GAWD that was horrible! … The only good part of that movie was when Leonardo DiCaprio died!”  He proclaimed that my daughter had to take HIM to a movie in return, a nice bang-em-up war movie would do (but not that new Nicholas Sparks thing, no, no).

I made my daughter thank him (again and again) and told her that next time her friends wanted to plan an outing, one of the MOMS had to be there to help with the plans.

And we all lived happily ever after… Except Leo… He was dead.