Confessions of a Bad Parent

With the flood of movies from Iron Man to Man of Steel we decided to reprint a post we blogged a couple of years ago on our old site. I hope you enjoy.

star wars cup

After you read today’s post, you might never be willing to listen to us or read our blog again. I mentioned a few days ago about our midnight excursion to watch the premiere of The Dawn Treader. Some of you read that and questioned the wisdom of taking school age kids to a midnight movie on a school night. Don’t worry, it gets worse! Movies for our family have become a very special thing. First being in ministry it has always been a big deal to even be able to go to movies (and I’m one of those that HAS to eat popcorn at a movie!) and second somehow I’ve raised a family of movie buffs. You don’t want to get into a movie trivia game with Tavita or Jason – either about actors or movie lines. We’ve watched our share of really good movies like Remember the Titans and Hoosiers; but we’ve also watched our share of duds like the first Hulk. My kids know that after we watch a movie we will discuss the message sent or agenda pushed; we rarely watch without a little analyzing. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy being entertained, but I’m not one to pass up an opportunity for a teachable moment!

Often when I’m leading a group I’ll have them introduce themselves by sharing their “favorite”. For instance I might say, tell us your name, where you are from and your favorite ice cream. However my most often used “favorite” is movie. My personal answer has been the same for thirty years – Star Wars. I can sense that I already lost some of you with that revelation! Don’t worry it gets worse. I’m going to date myself, but I was in high school when Time magazine did a cover story about a new sci-fi motion picture that some were saying would be the movie of the year. It was 1977 and that movie of course was Star Wars – I was hooked. So you can forgive me (well maybe you can?) for my excitement when they finally decided to continue the saga by releasing the Phantom Menace (the fourth Star Wars installment and chapter one of the tale but that’s another story altogether). We were living in Centralia at the time and our local theatre would carry the movie on its release date. By the time the movie came out it had been the topic of conversation in our home many times. The decision was made to catch the first showing of the movie together as a family. I had waited sixteen years for this and I would get to share Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia with my kids! There was a problem. The premiere showing would be on a Wednesday at noon. With all of the national hype, it would undoubtedly be sold out. So here’s my confession – we pulled Krista from school to wait in line. That’s right, together with her friend (she was homeschooled) we dropped them off at the theatre with folding chairs at 7am to wait in line. Of course they weren’t even close to being first in line. The rest of us met her there later that morning (some of us had to be responsible and go to work!).

As it turned out the movie was awesome, but the experience was better.  As you know we wrote a book, Going Public, a couple of years ago. We are very supportive of teachers and education (we’ll blog about education another time). But I’ve often kidded; never let school get in the way of your child’s education. My kids still talk about that day. They can’t believe dad let them miss school to see a movie(I know some of you are thinking the same thing); and a sci-fi movie at that. I’m not sure what exactly  they missed that day in school (I do know they made up the work); but I’m sure we made a memory. We don’t do that type of thing very often, in fact almost never, or it would lose its impact. But we are known for seeking out opportunities to make a memory with our kids. As I finish writing this I’m also finishing my morning cup of coffee. And of course I’m drinking it in my favorite cup given to me by my kids – that’s right a Star Wars mug (pictured above)!