We recently started re-watching The Walking Dead with the kids. Oh I KNOW. Don’t even bother twisting your face into that disapproving “…Huh” expression. There were a handful of kids in Riley’s classroom last year who told me they watched The Walking Dead and I was like, “Oh my gosh, really? It isn’t too scary for you?” while secretly I was
kind of a tiny bit totally judging their parents. I don’t know why I drew some arbitrary line between, say, Dylan’s all-time favorite movie (Predator) and a bunch of zombies, but anyway, I’m officially out of Smugtown because our wholesome evening family together-time now revolves solidly around watching people being torn apart or shot or skewered or in Lori’s case, generally sucking all the oxygen from the apocalypse. (Upon second viewing, it’s a real toss-up for who is the actual worst during those early seasons: Carl, for being constantly unsupervised and doing dipshit things that endanger others, or Lori, for being Lori).
After we allowed TWD, I felt like it was a little silly to hesitate about taking Riley to some of the grown-up action movies he wanted to see, so he’s been my theater buddy lately. We recently saw Logan (so good, and super sad), and Life (not great, but if there is a movie where people are getting killed in space I will pretty much always Fandango that shit), and I don’t know, it’s really neat being able to connect in that way.
It’s so cool to have older kids who like the same things you do, and at the same time I feel like the needle on the life-stage spectrum has edged its way back into the You-Have-No-Life-Outside-Parenthood Zone. Like, the more things we can do with the kids, the less we do on our own, or with friends, or even as a couple. Does that make any kind of sense? It’s not the all-consuming hands-on madness of the younger years, and thank goodness for that, but it’s like the more we level up as a family unit the less attention we pay to our individual selves.
Orrrrrrrr maybe that’s just how I’m feeling, these days. Like it’s easier and more enjoyable to feel as though I’m part of a larger entity, because it takes some of the focus off myself.