Last night my daughter and I sat down to watch her first real horror movie. And it was one of the MOST difficult acts of trivial parenting I have done. Sure, there have been many parts of parenting that were harder for me. But those were mostly real, serious parts of parenting. Things that mattered. In the grand scheme, it is not really that important whether K likes horror movies or not.
But it matters to *me*. And I didn’t want to wreck it for her.
So we sat down to watch the 1999 movie The Haunting, the updated remake of The Haunting of Hill House, the one with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, you remember? And I kept my mouth shut through the entire film.
Did I point out the way the purgatory metaphor worked for Eleanor and her mother as well as the dead children? No, I did not. Did I discuss Theo’s bisexuality and Eleanor’s mistrust of affection? No, I did not. Did I discuss the rich tradition of haunted house stories and their relation to the locked-room mystery? No, I did not. Did I pause the movie to discuss mirror-horror and the fragmenting of self-identity? NO, I DID NOT.
I remained silent. I watched the movie. I suggested we have popcorn. At one point I said, “THAT doesn’t look good!” when the house started caving in.
We finished the film.
This morning, when K said she slept fine, no troubles at all, I suggested she next watch The Shining.
I am so pleased with K!
And I want a damn gold star. for my monumental discretion.
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