Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mufasa Is Dead

When my oldest son was little we (my husband and I) used to tell him that Mufasa was just sleeping in The Lion King.  You know the heartbreaking scene when little Simba is trying to wake him up after the stampede?  For years I couldn't get myself to say, "Honey, Simba's dad died."

I wanted to protect him from such horrible-ness.  I didn't want my baby to be sad.

But he eventually figured it out.  Fast forward eight years and three more kids and everyone, even baby Wade, knows Mufasa is dead.  Ugh.

Yesterday I went to JT's kindergarten class to help out.  Volunteering in the classroom is not my thing, I think I've mentioned this fun fact before.  I find it challenging to use all my nice energy on other people's difficult children and then have nothing left for my kids later.  But yesterday was special, the kids were working on a rock and roll video for their dads. 

JT wanted to look like a tough guy rock star with a tattoo and a mohawk.  He ended up looking more like Ponyboy from The Outsiders.

Remember that movie?  What a cast.  I was in love with that movie. And with the cast.

I was young when I watched it, like upper elementary school young.  There wasn't any sugarcoating it for me.  No one told me Dallas was just sleeping. (Sorry for the spoiler alert if you haven't seen it.)

After school the kids were running around the backyard happily chasing each other, getting along, loving life and each other.  At least that's how I saw it from my kitchen window. 

"What are you guys playing?" I asked when I went out to join them.

"The Hunger Games," my pre-tween 10-year-old Peyton said happily and then ran off to pretend kill his little sister.  

What the hell?  How did this kid that I protected from the sadness of Mufasa's death turn into this monster?  

That's right this is a Hunger Games post.  I have not read the books or seen the movie--I simply heard "kids killing kids" and "post apocalyptic" and I had a mini panic attack and steered clear.

My children haven't read the books or seen the movie.  My husband just started the first book last night and he has been engrossed in it, but we haven't spoken to him about it much, yet.  Peyton said a few of his friends have seen the movie and read the book.  That's where he got the idea for the fun back yard game.

And they were having fun.  

My first reaction was to protect them from all the horrible-ness.
"Don't worry, it's just pretend," Lucy reminded me.

We'll decide after Tim finishes the book if it is something that Peyton can handle reading and whether or not the movie is a good idea. But for now, I'll let him feel all cool playing The Hunger Games game with his siblings.

And of course, who do you think is having the most fun? The baby Wade.  He makes me nervous.

Here's a great article on forbes.com about why The Hunger Games is a great movie for your kids. Interesting.  It does in deed mention parents' need to "opt for a sheltered view of what our kids should be exposed to."  Who the hell does sh*t like that? Ha! Click here to read it.

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