Looking back on my life, I would definitely say I had a pretty good childhood given some circumstances. My parents took great care of me, I had a loving family, and since I was an only child I pretty much never had to share the awesome toys grandma bought me behind my parents’ backs (that is until my mom remarried and my step-sisters would visit and mom said I had to share because that’s what makes you a good person). Being an only child, I’m not going to lie, I was spoiled and pretty much got to do what I wanted (within reason of course… my parents usually said no to me driving the car or throwing the cat).
The big thing I can remember my parents not really caring about too severely was the movies I was watching. Looking back I have two reactions about some of the movies my parents allowed me to watch. My first reaction is, “wow, my parents were so cool. I was watching R rated movies at age three!” My second reaction is, “Holy shit… some of those movies could have severely damaged me emotionally and lead to further issues in my future.”
There are three movies that immediately come to mind when I think of this topic (and honestly probably the only three that would really stand out to anyone): Terminator 2: Judgement Day; The Sixth Sense; and Titanic.
Let’s discuss Terminator. First of all I would like to say that the second film was, bar none, THE BEST of the Terminator movies. Now that I have gotten that out in the open, why don’t I talk about how my obsession with this movie began around age three.
I can promise you that I was the only three year old on the block whose movie collection included 101 Dalmatians (which I just called Puppies because Dalmatian is a really hard fucking word to say), Pocahontas, and Terminator 2 (does it baffle you that I could say Terminator but not Dalmatian because it baffles me…). I have one very specific memory of getting up early on a Saturday morning, walking over to our entertainment center and putting in the VHS of Terminator 2. While sitting on the couch watching a very intense chase scene between the good terminator and the bad terminator, I remember becoming enraged at the sun shining through my living room window making a glare on the television screen.
If you have never seen the second Terminator movie, I strongly suggest you take a look… but I would not recommend it necessarily for three year olds. Mainly because of the strong violence, extreme swearing, and discussion of the apocalypse in great detail. According to my dad, I loved the movie so much because I thought John Connor was super cute and I liked the chase scenes. Thank God I had a really good filter because I’m sure my kindergarden teacher would not have appreciated me telling her to “pass the mother fucking scissors, bitch”.
The film that almost ruined my childhood would definitely have to be The Sixth Sense. I don’t really recall the first time I watched it, but I know that the movie came out in 1999 which made me seven years old at the time. My mom and step-dad really liked the movie so I guess I decided to sit down and watch it with them. For literally the next year, I could not go to sleep; was afraid of my bedroom, my closet, and my school; I avoided the color red at all costs; and I was convinced that if my step-sisters and I built a fort there would be a little girl inside of it throwing up. I think the reason this movie scared me so much was because Haley Joel Osment was very close in age to me (he’s four years older than me), and I was absolutely convinced that I would also have the ability to talk to ghosts because that’s how my seven year old mind worked. It also didn’t help that my parents loved the movie so much they continued to watch it even though I was utterly terrified of the film. The solution to me being in the room while they watched the movie was for me to put on head phones and play on the computer… it didn’t work. I have gotten over my fear of The Sixth Sense and in fact it is one of my favorite movies. I also love acting in horror films/ skits which is definitely not something I would have seen myself enjoying twelve years ago.
Lastly, good old Titanic. When I was in the first grade, I guess no ones parents really cared what we watched, because it was common at recess to play Star Wars or Titanic. I of course was always Rose and one of my good friends was always Jack (we liked each other in that first grade “hey, I have a crush on you but I’m not going to do anything about it because I’m six” sense). Every recess we would act out the movie in the most detail our fifteen to forty five minutes would allow depending on the break. The giant jungle gym was the ship and the gravel on the playground was the frigid cold Atlantic Ocean. Of course we didn’t exactly understand every part of the movie. For instance, when Jack and Rose are in the car and well… having fun times… we would just go sit under the jungle gym for a while until we thought it was an appropriate amount of time to go back up and see the ice berg. I think I asked my friend once what he thought Jack and Rose were doing in the car and he said, “I don’t know, drawing pictures in their breath fog on the window?”