“‘Robots?!’ Papa, can we check this out? Please?” Four sparkling eyes stared up at me with the hope and innocence that only children can muster. My eldest daughter held out a DVD copy of the 2005 full-length film to me. Now, the librarian had just handed my library card back to me, and it still hung in midair between my right index finger and thumb. I looked down at the two of them.
“Are you sure you want to check this out?” I asked. You see, my daughters have been terrified of full-length films for years. It has only been recently that the unusual fear of movies has subsided (somewhat), and they have begun to take an interest in them as entertainment.
Briefly, my mind flashed back to four years ago when my wife and I had purchased “Finding Nemo” for a plane ride. “Finding Nemo”- perfectly harmless, engrossing and innocent children’s movie, right? Livi took one look at the iPad, saw the blackened screen, heard the ominous tones of an orchestral bass, and that was it. “No!” she shrieked in terror. Confounded, my wife pushed ‘stop’ and I took a quick glance around the plane- nope, nobody filling out an incident report, yet. “But honey, this movie is so cute…” we attempted to explain.
“No!” came my child’s voice again. Okay, that was that. No full-length movies for years to come. You see, once our next child arrived, Livi successfully corralled her little sister into this bizarre fear club, too. So for us, it has been PBS Kids episodes and Scooby Doo circa 1969. Until now.
“Sure, girls, we can check it.” I handed my card back to the librarian.
“Yay!” they both exploded, placing the DVD upon the countertop.
Strange how we mark time. Sometime it’s birthday parties. Sometimes it’s milestones. Sometimes it’s teeth falling out. Sometimes it’s the relinquishing of a fear of movies.
However we mark the passing of time, parents feel it. And it’s in those moments when we realize our children are no longer who, or how, they once were… that is when we truly feel it.