My husband has been a lifelong fan of superheroes. It all started as a small child, and his love for the genre and the characters grew as he did. From boxes and boxes of comics, to every single action figure produced, to endless rows of DVDs on the shelf, he collected it all and spent so much money that even he would be embarrassed to admit.
When we got married I couldn’t understand this fascination with these fictional characters. At times, early in our marriage, it was sometimes a subject that caused strife. I got tired of his superhero clutter invading my space.
As we began to expand our family and have children, I thought he would get preoccupied with parenting and his beloved superheroes would have to take a backseat. I was wrong. As soon as our children could sit through a television show or movie, I would find him sitting on the couch, cradling the kids, watching countless hours of
his their favorite characters fighting evil.
Although it was easy for him to win over the children, I didn’t give in that easily.
Being a mom has taught me many lessons over the years. One being that if I want to spend time with my children and husband, that sometimes means doing something I really don’t want to do.
Little did I know that spending 90 minutes with my husband and three children would teach me a lesson I try to instill in my children every day. You can’t judge a book by its cover or, in this case, a movie by its genre. There is actually more to those villain-fighting, earth-saving, suit-wearing characters than meets the eye.
After enduring my first ever Marvel film with the family, I found that I big-puffy-heart superheroes. Especially Marvel superheroes. So much so that I watched The Avengers and Iron Man 3 even before my husband and children. But don’t tell my husband. It’ll be our little secret.
I guess the whole point here is that I consider myself more of a comedy and chick-flick kind of gal, but I’m absolutely intrigued by this treasure trove of awesomeness that Marvel has created. It’s not just about explosions, fighting, and killing bad guys. It’s about the journey of the person behind the mask or cape and how they have to overcome the things that stand in their way of being a true, complete hero.
For Iron Man, he had to learn to believe in himself and his ability rather than depending on a suit. For Black Widow, it was finding out that you can be who you want to be regardless of your past.
Each movie has a lesson that can be taught and/or learned. That’s why I, as a mother, allow my children to watch them. Sure there is violence. Sure there are explosions. And, sure there are questionable circumstances, but they aren’t any worse than what they see watching the 6 o’clock news, y’all. I use it as a prompt for a good, wholesome discussion about life. It opens up the lines of communication for subjects that might not have been approached otherwise.
Use family movie night as a time for engagement and family enrichment. Find a lesson in each film and let it be a stepping stone to a family discussion. Don’t think of it as time wasted in front of a screen but rather as a teaching tool. But watch out. You might be in for a lesson yourself.
Crystal writes at Simply Being Mommy about life in Texas, being a mom of three, family travel, surrogacy, and more. To read more by Crystal, visit SimplyBeingMommy.com or follow her on Twitter @SimplyBeingMom.