Sometimes parenting straight up sucks.
I made my son cry on the way to school this morning.
Why I picked that time I don’t know. I guess I didn’t expect that reaction. I knew he wouldn’t like what I said, but I didn’t expect him to cry. I forget that although he’s taller than me and sometimes has pimples, he’s still a little boy inside. Now I’m devastated, thinking he had to start his day like that.
But I did it for a good reason. Honest.
For two years he’s been looking forward to seeing the Deadpool movie. Since before there was even a hint of the movie being made, he drew pictures of him that he hung on his wall. He made Deadpool his home screen on the iPad. He bought some of his comics. He loves Deadpool.
(I know the comic books, and how raunchy the character is. My son’s read only read a few of them. In his twelve-year-old mind, Deadpool just looks cool and says funny things. He’s still naive and innocent.)
When he heard they were making a movie, he was beyond excited. WE were excited. Because that’s OUR thing. We see all the Star Wars, super hero, big monster movies together. And I cherish and love every second of it.
So he’s seen every preview, read articles about the making of the movie, counted the days.
Then, with a dawning sense of dread, I realized how inappropriate the movie is going to be. I stopped encouraging it, stopped mentioning it. Hoping he’d forget, but he didn’t. When the commercials started showing the opening date, he’d look at me, wide-eyed. I’d smile half-heartedly and change the subject.
I told him last week that I wasn’t sure the movie was going to be appropriate for him. Laying the groundwork. I dreaded telling him that he couldn’t see it. I knew he’d be disappointed.
Last night, talking to a mom-friend, we agreed we’d go together opening weekend to decide once and for all if our boys could see it.
So, this morning in the car (bad timing!) I told him that I would see Deadpool this weekend to decide if he could see it. And he was crushed. He started to cry. For some stupid reason, I was surprised. I knew he’d be mad and disappointed, but didn’t expect tears. Ugh.
It’s moments like that, that I really hate parenting. I hate to see my boy cry, even if it’s for the right reason. And especially when it’s my fault. Part of me was screaming inside to say, “OK, you can see it,” just so he’d stop crying. But I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do.
Once I explained my reasoning and apologized for the bad timing, I changed the subject and tried to be cheerful. To his credit, he pulled it together and was talking about possible easter eggs in the movie by the time he jumped out of the car. But still. I’m left with this knot in my stomach.
Thanks a lot, Deadpool.