I Brought My 5-Year-Old to Star Wars
Yup, I’m that momma. The one that was at the first showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a PG-13 rated movie with a gaggle of kids, aged 14 and under. Including Number 5, my 5-year-old. Decked out in his Chewbacca jammies, he strode confidently through the theater, climbed into his seat that he was barely able to keep from folding back up on him and enjoyed the movie with the rest of us.
I would never have thought of bringing Number 1 to a Star Wars movie when he was 5. I was a new mommy and trying to do everything right. I was reading the books and following all recommended guidelines and ratings. Number 1 only watched G-rated movies in his younger years. The one time we made an exception we tried to watch The Sorcerer’s Stone with him (PG; it was Harry Potter, of course he should see it!). It was too much for him and he had nightmares for weeks. Total parent fail.
Over the years my parenting standards have fallen with each new child. Number 5 has been raised with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Avengers. Minecraft fever is already starting to take hold in his little body. His idea of a cool Halloween costume is a “real-life zombie”. He thinks Jurassic World is cool. He thrives in the world of his much-older siblings.
I am not immune to public opinion. I know that some moms might be horrified by Number 5’s advanced movie knowledge and technology savviness. (I would have been about 13 years ago). Sometimes I try and downplay his grasp of more adult themes. Other times I worry that he is being exposed to too much. Like when he calls people “evil,” or when he can’t play his games with his friends because they don’t know who Dr. Who is!
But then I watch him. He is a bright, happy, gregarious kid who can handle himself easily in any situation. He loves everything about life and is eager to pull something from all his experiences into his life. And despite seeing violence on the movie screen, he takes good away from the movie.
As he said last night, “There is still light in Kylo Ren, mom, I know.”