The Force is Strong in This One

January 28, 2009

Movie night has become a tradition. We try to keep Alex limited to one movie per week, which we watch on Friday nights. He can now connect the dots… in the morning, if we have to empty the dirty diapers out of his room, he’ll ask, “Is it garbage day?” When we say yes, he knows what to ask next: “Is it movie day?” Friday means he gets to see both the garbage truck and a movie. It’s like having Christmas once a week. He’s so excited. On Fridays, when we pick him up from school, the first words out of his mouth are, “Is it movie day?” I bet he’s been asking his teachers that question all day. And unlike the other four days of the week, there is no fight getting Alex home from school on Fridays.

For my own sanity, I try to vary the movies that Alex watches. It’s difficult. He latches onto whatever movie he saw most recently, and he doesn’t want to watch any other. For the two months between Halloween and Christmas, that movie was The Nightmare Before Christmas. Getting him to watch that movie was one of my proudest parenting moments, because it broke the 6-month reign of The Jungle Book. (Which is a great movie, as far as kids’ movies goes, but any movie gets old after that long. Unless you’re two.) After Christmas, I got Alex to watch both Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid. Ooh, both bad choices. Yes, he likes them. But as an adult, I cringe some of the stereotypes and shallow characters. They’re fine films to watch once, but not once a week for months.

So I need something new. Hopefully something non-Disney. But what? I had no ideas, until I saw this:

Could it be? Is Alex old enough for Star Wars? Well, I’m pretty sure I saw the movie in the theater, and it was released in 1977, so I was close to Alex’s age. Maybe I’ll wait until his third birthday, I thought.

But something happened today. As we were leaving school, one of the teachers gave me a rolled up piece of paper. “Here. This is Alex’s. He was playing with it.” I thought nothing of it and put it in my pocket. When we got home, I pulled it out of my pocket and gave it back to Alex.

He took it, looked at me sadly, and said, “But it’s broken.”

“What’s broken?”

“My light saber.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Where did he learn about light sabers? And did he really say that? He’s enunciation isn’t that clear. Maybe he said life saver. One way to find out. I asked him, “Alex, what do you do with your light saber?”

He took the rolled up paper and waved it around, very clearly like a light saber. That settles it. I think he’s ready for Star Wars for his next movie.