Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman & Parenting

Daniel and I joined hundreds of people yesterday in one of our favorite pastimes. We did not picnic or travel. In fact, we avoided the heat altogether. Instead, we went to see a matinee of Superman Returns. Movie watching seemed patriotic somehow - especially when watching the "man of steel" fly around saving people.

Prior to the movie starting, we observed families flocking in to the theatre and quickly filling the seats. Parents were grabbing booster seats so their toddlers could better see the screen. I couldn't help but try to remember the first time I watched Superman. I don't think I saw it in the theatre back in 1978. It's far more likely that I watched it on HBO sometime in the early eighties...at home. But I'll get to that in a moment.

Before Superman Returns we were enticed (and then, not so much) by the previews. Spiderman 3 looks good, but then we likey the superhero movies. Ant Bully looks cute. Amazingly, this gal who is SO not in to sports was enticed by the preview for "Invincible". I love me some inspirational sports flicks! It must be the underdog persevering that I'm drawn to. It's certainly not the football and it's definitely not Marky Mark (although I did like Italian Job). I got a laugh when the "Lady in the Water" preview finished and a boy around four years old announced to the theatre that he did NOT want to see that. Me either, kid!

I couldn't help but wonder why they would stick the LITW preview with Superman. Hello! Did they not realize that the preview was going to freak me (and all the little kids) out? And then, as we watched a particularly violent scene in the movie I remembered that this wasn't a kids movie. The originals weren't either. It's scary to see this iconic hero get beaten down. For an instant, I felt bad that the movie wasn't more kid friendly.

And then I got over that and I just wanted all those little kids to be led single file out of the theatre with their parents. See, it's one thing to make a decision about what movies your elementary or junior high kid is going to see. That is each parents prerogative and it's so not my place to tell people how to parent (who am I?). But the thing is...babies, toddlers and loud children too young to understand what their "quiet, inside voice" is do NOT belong in a movie theatre. I don't care if it's 4th of July and I just said it felt patriotic to be watching Superman. Families should be picnicking, damn it! Don't even get me started about the guy who allowed his cell phone to ring (very loudly) during a very emotional scene. How hard is it to put your phone on vibrate? Seriously. I'm going to need to write a separate blog about that sometime.

And obviously, I'm not saying this because I hate kids. I'm not trying to be insensitive. I totally get wanting to see a flic in the theatre. I get that absurd hope that maybe, just maybe YOUR kid won't be a crazy mini nuisance and disrupt a movie. It's Superman, for goodness sake! Won't your child be spellbound by his magnificence into silence? No. The answer is no, you silly parent! Your child will want to announce to everyone that he is flying! They'll want to shout out that Lex is bald! They will cry when they are hungry, bored (because the movie is very long) and have to "go potty". What were you thinking, Parent!?

And that brings me to my final point of the evening. With all this talk of parenting, I thought I'd use this opportunity to say that Daniel and I didn't always know we wanted to be parents. We enjoy being just us and the freedom it allows. That said, the idea of bringing a child into this world is extremely exciting, wonderful and scary. We know that it will not always be a walk in the park. We will probably make a ton of mistakes (but not the movie theatre mistake, no way!) but we'll also do some things right. I think as a team (and individually), we are pretty fabulous...and I know that a child we raise will be just as lucky to have us as we will be to have them. Sure, I'll probably pass on one of my many non-contagious but possibly genetic ailments to our kids...but we will teach them to overcome obstacles as we have. Maybe they will love theatre, movies, music, reading and writing (or you know, whatever makes them happy...even football). I hope they will follow our lead and be open minded and forgiving. I hope they absorb mine and Daniel's combined strengths and learn from our weaknesses and mistakes. One of my biggest hopes for our child (or children) is that they be their own person and speak their mind even if it's not what the majority believes. We both look forward to teaching and learning - laughing at silly things and debating important questions. We'll do all that we can to teach them to express themselves freely. We will encourage them to seek enlightenment and strong connections with their family and friends. We both are so excited for our family and friends to be a part of this endeavor. Their support of our choice is very important to us.

I could go on and on about this.

Daniel and I will not be the best parents that ever lived, but we will strive to be the best parents - the best people - we can be. I think that's a good place to start. Sure, some would say we're joining the ranks of people who don't know the first thing about parenting. Maybe. But we'll learn. We didn't make this decision haphazardly. This isn't "baby fever" (or malaria, whatever...are they similar?) I guess you could say it is baby fever. Sure. This is also two people who are happy and want to share our life with a family. We're excited...and just a little nervous - and I'm super sensitive (and moody) these days.

That's what blogs are for. Well, it's what this blog is for anyway.

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