You know you've made a dire parenting mistake when you are at the movie theatre and when a scary image flashes across the screen, you have to cover your child's eyes - and then she doubles up by planting both of her hands over your hand - so she is sure not to experience any of the scariness. Where's the Apple Dumpling Gang when you need 'em?
Mama should have done a little more research before taking her six year old to "Legend of the Guardians." It's not a gentle little movie about woodland creatures. Yes, I know it was not billed that way - but those cute little softy owls - I was sure it would be fine. After experiencing the first fifteen minutes of snarling spookiness complete with glowing red-eyed attack rat, Maya whispers to me, "Mom, I don't think this movie is for my age of kids. Kids my age like happy stuff." I stand corrected and embarrassed. We scurry out of the theatre in the dark and slip into Secretariat just down the hall.
I sit down, missing the first twenty-five minutes, and in three seconds, I am crying. Someone has died, I don't even know who at this point, but I am moved to tears. Maya once again looks up at me and whispers, "Mom... did you even know him? Or are you sad that we left the scary owl movie? Really, Mom, I think this is the better choice for us." She is right. Scary, snarling, drooly owls vs. proud, faster than lightning horse clinching the Triple Crown. She should be the mom some days... just don't tell her that.