His Best Day Ever

Tonight my oldest asked our little guy, age 6, when was his best day ever.  He answered, “Today.  Right now.”

Why?

pic of Star Wars logo

Because he was finally watching a few minutes of Star Wars.  The actual movie–not the Lego’s version that I hoped would appease him a little longer.  He was so excited he could hardly sit still.  My little guy, Cooter, knows more about Star Wars than a lot of people who have seen all six movies.  He asks a lot of questions and pieces it together in his mind.  He KNOWS this stuff.  All I can say is if he puts this much energy and passion into learning REAL history, we are all set.

While he and his friends were watching, my friends and I talked about movies we watched growing up, which echoed a conversation my husband and I had earlier today.  I realize I am way overprotective of what my children watch.  (I ask folks in doctor’s offices to change the channels–I mean, some of the junk they have on in there is downright ridiculous!)  Today I might have gotten to the heart of the matter.

pic of sleeping beauty

Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” was one absolutely SCARY movie.  I mean seriously, have you seen the big battle scene between Prince Phillip and Maleficent?  That’s the stuff nightmares are made of people.  I know this.  For.  A.  Fact.  It was made in 1959.  For children.  I guess dancing forest critters and the bumbling sweetness of the fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were all supposed to outweigh the darkness that was Maleficent and her curse.  However, when I first watched it about fifteen years after it was made, it made no matter.  I was terrified.  We even had the soundtrack album, and the pictures on the record cover could give me the heebie-jeebies.  She changes, Maleficent does.  Into a horrible, terrifying, HUGE fire-breathing dragon.  Prince Phillip is almost toast.  Literally.  Okay, enough of that.  Too close to bedtime.  Suffice to say, when that movie is in your memory banks, you remember it and try to keep your own little ones away from such as that for as long as you can.

My friends and I talked about other movies and television shows we watched growing up.  Horror movies, soap operas, Love Boat and Fantasy Island were amongst those mentioned. (Yes, we all agreed, Tattoo was a creeper.  He often just hung out, staring.  What was that about?)  I remember my parents picking a weekend, usually in the heat of the summer or over a school break, and going to the video rental store.  For one special price we could rent a Video Disc Player and something like ten movies on video discs, not due back until Monday by noon.  Wow.  We camped out in the living room, all of us together, taking bathroom or snack breaks between the movies.  My spot was lying sideways in the chair that now sits in my Sister’s beautiful room.  We watched so many different movies, I can’t remember them all, but I do know most of those weekends were Western weekends.  People tend to remember Westerns with a nostalgic look on their faces, but let me tell you, they weren’t pretty.  In hindsight I shudder at just how violent some were.  We were partial to John Wayne and the old classic westerns that had great one-liners and funny oddball characters.  They were wholesome, but a lot of folks got shot up.  Does that even sound right?

And so I obsess.  I watched all those movies starting when I was probably 10 or 12.  But my sisters were younger than that.  So, am I being too overprotective with my own children?  Our Princess, eight and a half years old, who wants to watch the newer Disney shows designed for tweens and teens.  Our little guy, Cooter, who desperately wants to watch Star Wars.  Whose best day ever was this one right here when he got to watch 25 minutes of Star Wars, Episode 4.  And who can’t wait to watch the rest.  He keeps assuring me he wasn’t scared and that it was AWESOME.

And now the new Lone Ranger movie has come out.  My little guy sees the pictures on cereal boxes and on Lego’s boxes (thank you for that, oh Lego’s Wise Ones).  He wants to see it.  This one is a “no” (it’s PG-13 for goodness’ sake), but what about the old, original episodes?  Is he old enough to handle them?  Zorro?  Gunsmoke?

So, just wondering, what do you remember watching?  How old were you when you first saw Star Wars?  Sleeping Beauty?  How old were your children or other little ones in your life when they saw these movies?  How old were you or your child or someone you knew before they saw their first PG-13 movie?  The old Westerns–pros and cons?

We get one shot at doing this right, and I’m really trying.  Nobody ever said raising children would be easy, and that’s a good thing.  Because it’s not the least bit easy.  At all.

6 thoughts on “His Best Day Ever

  1. I remember watching Daniel Boone (Disney TV) when I was about 8 and loving it. I also saw “Oliver Twist”and “Darby O’Gill and the little people” before I was 8.They were both Disney and both had parts that were very scary to me, but I also loved them both.

    • You know, my little guy watched Davy Crockett and LOVED it. He also just watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with his Daddy. You are right. He wants to watch them both again. Thanks for the suggestion of other good movies. We will have to see about finding those. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  2. Bambi scared me right off the bat when his mother died. I didn’t want to watch the rest. I didn’t want to take my children to it but was out-voted. (My first husband got 2 votes cuz he weighed twice as much, creative huh?) My girls were crying right away. My thing was Bugs Bunny…the Looney Tunes were SO violent but nobody died and the classical music score was beautiful. So, is violence easier to handle if no one dies and is just temporarily hurt? Maybe… I have never watched the new Star Wars, have only seen the original three and I don’t think they are as bad as half of the things I see for kids these days. When you think of it, a good story has to have conflict and that is the point where it’s usually ugly. One series of shows I think are made more for adults than kids is the Shrek shows. I was offended at the sexual references and friends said they go right over the kids heads…but if they repeat them? I couldn’t even watch any of the other Shrek shows when they came out. I didn’t feel that way in Tangled, although the guy had a pride problem. We like animated shows like UP and Finding Nemo which I think are okay even though they have some scary parts…they are positively resolved and even a scary dog ends up with a comically high voice. Parenting is tougher on you youngsters because you want to do it better and I applaud you for that!

    • No applause please, I’m not done yet. Jury’s still out on all of that. I love your analysis of all these shows and movies. I think we might stick with the original three SW movies to begin with–the others do seem more intense to me. And yes, several folks have said that we need some of the darkness in these shows/movies for us to think about good overcoming evil and such as that. I think that’s a valid point. Mine really haven’t seen much Looney Tunes, though I grew up with them. I preferred the Live Action Saturday morning programs though–Isis, Shazam, and the horse show–was it Thunder?
      They love these Lego shows–Lego Ninjago, Lego Star Wars. When someone shoots a Stormtrooper, he breaks into pieces. It’s funny but I wonder if it’s desensitizing. Oh man, I get tired of worrying and obsessing over this stuff. It’s enough to make me want to just throw the tv out. But of course I don’t. Thanks for reading and for taking time to share.

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