Friday, May 23, 2008

Star Wars: Return of the Surly

(Coincidentally, as I've been pecking away at this post for the past few days, I discover that tomorrow is somehow called Universal Day of the Jedi. Who knows what that means?)

This past Tuesday afternoon was not a good time for me. I took the afternoon off to get Hannah checked out by the doctor. She had been fighting a cold and a lot of congestion for over a week. So, I took her and found out (surprise, surprise) that she was developing an ear infection. So, I picked up an antibiotic on the way home from the doctor.

When I tried to give the antibiotic to Hannah, however, she refused to keep it down and spit it all back up on her bib and her shirt.

I was not happy. And I would grow less happy as the afternoon wore on.

Sarah didn't help by coming in the door and immediately wanting to plop down in front of the TV to watch a movie--a movie, you see? We try, TRY to confine our long-form movie watching to Friday night. I won't pretend that we don't let them watch TV when they get home from school, but Sarah was unfortunately being compared in my mind with our neighbor's daughter--who I also picked up at school--who doesn't watch as much TV and would rather have been outside playing in the backyard. Yeah, playing in the backyard, on the swingset that I spent weeks constructing. (Grace, God bless her, was willing to go outside and play.)

So, Hannah is sick and spitting up her formula. Sarah is wasting a beautiful spring afternoon by wanting to watch a movie. But WHAT movie is it? Well, that is another part of the problem. She wanted to watch some (not all, thank goodness) of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Yes, we've let them watch the Star Wars movies. And yes, there are moments when I wish that I'd not made that decision. You see, Sarah and Grace don't fully appreciate how badly George Lucas screwed up his seminal space franchise since 1999. People like me, who grew up piloting an imaginary Millennium Falcon in my backyard--as well as feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for Star Wars Kid--well, we were deeply injured when Lucas saw fit to rewrite scenes, insert bad actors into completed movies, and then inflict terrible acting, horrible dialogue, and digital monstrosities upon the universe we'd defined some part of ourselves around. So, okay. Sarah's film criticism skills aren't very honed yet. But there is another element to my frustration with the growing Star Wars fixation.

Yep, I fear that as Star Wars ascends, Harry Potter diminishes, and with it, a part of her childhood that was close to me is going away. That is a bit premature, I suppose, and in my less surly moments I don't worry about it too much, but still . . . was that part of the anger there, along with the automatic TV watching?

And then, when I cave and let her watch, what does she do? She doesn't even WATCH some of the parts she chose because she was scared of them. Well, then why even? . . . oh never mind!

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