One of the most unexpected changes of becoming a Mom has been to my movie and TV preferences.
While previously I enjoyed horror flicks, scary movies and every single crime show God and Jerry Bruckheimer have created, I just can't seem to stomach them now. I still DVR Law & Order SVU, but it is mostly out of habit at this point. Most of the show is spent with me cringing and wincing.
Because everything I see on that TV screen is everything I am trying to protect my children from.
I am watching safely from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy couch, my kids tucked safely into their non-recalled, completely safe beds, and I have the urge to run into their rooms and measure their breathing, to make sure they are still there. My irrational side needs to see that it IS just a TV show and nothing (NOTHING!) in that show is every going to touch my kids. Ever.
I want to shout at the screen, warning each child away from the danger around those corners. I want to hug the mothers who have lost their children, console them, for my heart is breaking for their loss as if it is a child I have actually known, not an actor in a role.
While I do still watch Law&Order, my heart isn't into it. I tend to veer more towards what my life looks like now (or what it would if I was witty and beautiful and had a stylist picking out my clothes, home and friends). Modern Family. Parks & Recreation. The Office. Funny, family comedies.
So when The Hubs fell asleep at the late late hour of 9 pm a few nights ago, I settled in to watch something he would never watch with me. Something safe, with no law and no order and no thinking required. A chick flick. An old chick flick I had never seen before about dancers and young love.
Oh yes, I'm about 10 years late to the party; I watched the movie Step Up. (You know, that one with that one actor. .....What's his name?.... Oh yeah.... Channing Tatum.)
I was enjoying the movie - the triteness, the simpleness of it all. A love story we have seen played in countless movies countless times. And then - BAM! A child dies. (Spoiler alert! Except, I don't think it can really be considered a spoiler, since the movie has been out for seven years. If you haven't seen it by now, someone was bound to spoil it for you at some point. Might as well be me.)
That's right. In the middle of this chick flick about dancing and love and being true to yourself, a child DIES. I was so unprepared for it. Just sitting there, ho-hum, tweedle-dee, look at Channing, he's so cute, wow, I wish I could dance like that, and then - Tears. Quiet, sad tears because in order to make the lead character realize what is really important in life, the writers had to have a child die.
I think we need to tweak our movie ratings system. Keep the old ratings, but we need to add something for Mothers. Bambi could get a G-M. Meaning: Rated G, but a Mother dies. (Again, spoiler alert..... and did I really spoil that for anyone?!) Step Up could get a PG-13-C. Meaning: Rated PG-13, but a Child dies. That way at least I get advance notice of a child's death.
It is really not safe for me to watch anything anymore.