The 5 Movies I Couldn't Wait to Share With My Kids
The best thing about being a parent is reliving our favorite parts of our own childhoods through the eyes of our kids. And while there are countless ways to do that, some of the best in our house have been when we're snuggled under a blanket, watching the movies I grew up with. These are the top five I couldn't wait to share.
My sister and I watched this coming of age film about a ragtag group of baseball obsessed boys so many times that we could likely recite it from start to finish. And neither of us even cared about baseball. I was the same age as the majority of the cast back when it was released, and I remember even then being so enchanted by the independence of kids in the '60s. By now, I wonder if it even registers to my kids that this in any way depicts real life in the days gone by. Either way, sitting on the couch, both of us throwing our hands over our eyes and clutching one another as the boys experiment with chewing tobacco and the tilt-a-whirl told me no amount of peer pressure is ever going to talk him into that. As a bonus, it has given me my most used declaration of parenthood, "You're killing me, Smalls!"
Pee Wee's Big Adventure
I do believe that somewhere there exists a photo of myself in my 1985 frilly Easter finery, posing with an inflatable bunny and a VHS copy of Pee Wee's Big Adventure. How was there ever a world before Pee Wee? From his red bow tie, all the way down to his white moccasins, I've cherished him for a lifetime. My husband grew up loving him too, and in the interest of full disclosure, both of us got several emails and texts when the new movie was announced. It's common knowledge that we're a family of fans. My son was charmed by him immediately, and a few years down the line, my daughter was too. Not that we expected any different. I mean, we would have kept her anyway, but we'd talk about her behind her back.
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking
Every Halloween, I wished I were a red head so I could shove wire into my braids, throw on some crazy mismatched rags and perch a monkey on my shoulder. I just loved Pippi. She was the opposite of everything I believed myself to be. She was daring and fearless. She was bold and full of imagination. She lived alone and didn't even look under her bed before she went to sleep. I could barely manage going upstairs alone when everyone was home. I know it is controversial to suggest this over the original, but it's really only because of the musical numbers. There isn't a single time I've ever mopped a floor and not hummed "Scrubbing Day" while thinking about how much more fun the job would be if I strapped scrub brushes on my feet instead. I've seen every single one of the Pippi movies, too, except for Pippi in the South Seas, which was eaten by our VCR one fateful movie night in the mid-80's. Irritating as she may be, she's the sort of spunk I want my kids to be delighted by. (Hold the too big for their britches Disney Channel sasspots.)
This may be my favorite movie of all time. Yes, at this point I've run it right into the ground, but I stand by calling it such. How can you top seven kids on a perilous adventure to find pirate treasure in hopes of saving their homes from being bulldozed into a golf course? GAH! It's everything. Yes, there's a statue penis breaking incident and one kid gets locked in a freezer with a corpse, but that's the way the 80's rolled. I probably haven't gone more than a year or two since seeing it for the first time without watching at least a few minutes, so finally watching it with my kid felt like introducing him to a family member. I'm not sure he was as riveted as I wanted him to be, but it's likely that nudging him every twenty minutes to go "Isn't this great? Huh? What do you think? Awesome, huh?" didn't add to the experience.
We saw this as a family in the theater the weekend it opened. When it came out on video, we owned a copy. It's possible that eventually my parents threw it out the window of a moving vehicle. A few years back at Christmas, I showed it to my son. One viewing in, he had mastered the iconic after shave scene, slapping his face with both hands and letting out a blood-curdling yell. I feel my life came completely full circle when this past Christmas I finally broke down at the sixth viewing of it in the season. "OH MY GOD. IF YOU GUYS DON'T PICK A DIFFERENT MOVIE I'M THROWING OUT THE TV."
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