I was chatting with my intern about the Oscars. Shes in her early 20s, not married, and doesn’t have children. She graduated a year ago, which makes her still young enough to understand what college students go through(I work at a university), but old enough to be paying her own rent.
We share an office, and we were chatting about the whole La La Land/Moonlight best picture of the year announcement mess up. She was going on about how wonderful of a movie Moonlight was, and how La La Land was good, but not as good.
Then she brought up a few other films that had received accolades she enjoyed, and with each film, I felt further and further out of the loop, so I just nodded, agreeing with everything she said because I didnt want to admit to the sad reality that I hadnt seen an adult marketed film in a movie theater since Oceans 13 (refresher: that came out in 2007).
Sure, Ive seen the new Star Wars films, I brought my two oldest kids to see those little gems. And Ive seen everythingthat is new to Netflix and Amazon Prime (I can watch those in spurts while biking at the gym on my lunch break).
But when it comes to keeping up with pop culture, Im at bare minimum five to eight years behind.
Sure, I can tell you all about PJ Masks, Magic Egg Videos, and the difference between My Little Pony and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, but unless it has puppets or an animal protagonist, I have no idea whats going on in modern film.
In fact, the week before my intern and I were discussing the Oscars, my wife and I had a full-blown conversation about the big reveal of Max and Ruby’s parents.
The reality is, this is parenting. People often talk about how kids become your everything. Well, movies are a prime example.
Basically its a hierarchy: If its a kids film, TV show, or something kid focused and trending on YouTube, rest assured, Ive seen it. That is number one. My wife and I often watch a show after the kids go to bed, but its got to be something we can both agree on. This usually means we end up watching a romantic comedy. Thats number two. Getting something that I actually want to watch is pretty far down the list, coming in at number three. With working two jobs and being a father of three, I just dont get all that much time to watch movies.
And I know there is some movie buff out there reading this who happens to be on the fence about having children, and they are thinking, No way. Im not giving that up.
But let me tell you the bright side of all this, an honestly, there is one. My favorite thing to do is watch movies with my kids, and its not because of the movies. I dont watch episode after episode of Pokmon because Ive got to catch them all. And I didnt watch Rio 2 because I love the sound track. I love watching movies with my kids because of snuggles. There is something so warm and wonderful about having my littlest on my lap, and my two oldest snuggled up next to me, one in each arm. Its probably the warmest feeling Ive ever had in my heart, and it really only happens when watching movies with my kids.
I love showing them movies from my childhood, and seeing their reaction. When my son found out that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father, his jaw dropped, just like mine did at his age. And when we watched The Gooniesfor the first time, he couldnt understand why these children didnt have their parents following them around. It was in that moment, I realized how much parenting had changed since I was a child.
Just a few weeks ago we watched Trolls, and while I would never, in a million years, watch that movie on my own, with each song, we had a little dance party in my living room. My youngest shook her chubby little legs, while my middle daughter did this awkward jumping rolling dance move that can really only be accomplished by a seven-year-old. My son watched awkwardly from our sofa because hes getting a little too cool for that sort of thing, while my wife shook her thing in more ways than Id seen since we were dating.
Sure, Im way behind on movies. And music. And well, all things pop culture. But the reality is, outside of chatting with my intern, I dont really notice it anymore. I watch what my kids watch. I get a lot of snuggles. Its all good. In fact, its probably better than before.
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