I decided maybe one of the best ways to explain why I choose the lifestyle I do for our kids is to help you understand some of what I have learned in (mumbled under my breathe with my hand over my mouth) #$%$^ odd years of watching... Today I am going to share what was probably the biggest life changing "aha" moments for me.
Now I could give you a grand epic version, that gave you a life history, filled with strife and chaos, but instead I am just going to stick to the events that day and how it has helped shape me into who I now am...
I saw a familiar face pass on the screen in front of me, Vincent Price.... Ahhhhh swoon, lol my young heart skipped a beat at the sight of the menacing yet charming man! Title credits rolled, but my reading wasn't very good so I couldn't keep up with what they were telling me, although slightly irritated with my lack of abilities I knew it wouldn't matter soon, as the picture was about to begin... And then I heard behind me...
As she continued to recite the mesmerizing words I found myself turning away from the tv and towards her, listening intently as her words played like musical notes out of her mouth. I was in awe of the beauty and sadness, the darkness haunted, and moved me. I almost cried when it was done, I wanted, no I NEEDED more... I asked my mom, what was that? How did she know what he was going to say? She explained to me it was a poem that was very famous and it was written by the man who inspired many of our favorite (at that time) Saturday afternoon movies. It had never occurred to me that movies were based on stories that i could just read at any time I wanted. Mom went on to tell me that the author was Edgar Allan Poe, and what we had just watched was based on his poem The Raven. Luckily for me my mother was a reader, even though I, at that point, wasn't.
You see I was a smart girl, smart enough anyway, but I had no interest in reading. I knew everything I needed to read, I just wasn't at all moved or interested by the usual kid offerings. I did well in class,I didn't struggle and all the adults would talk about how I just wasn't living up to potential, blah blah blah was all I heard. I got by but there was concern and a lot of frustration on the part of my teachers.
Now back to The Raven and that Saturday afternoon ~ Luckily for me... My mom went on to tell me about a book she had that had the works of this man, poems, stories, plays... and then she did one of the smartest things she ever did in my entire life, she told me I was welcome to read it if I would like.
I jumped up and scurried to her book shelf, going through the stacks of old and new tomes in search of that one name. Once found I plopped my butt directly on the floor and began to rifle through the old musty pages, with an excitement a kin to Christmas. I sat there for the rest of the afternoon slowly sounding out words, moving from poem to story and back to poem again, all the while my mom watched in amazement, helping me with word meanings as I came across unfamiliar old prose.
That day changed the rest of my life. I had left school that Friday a girl slightly behind in my reading not because I couldn't but simply because I wasn't interested, I came back that Monday excited to show my new found love of written word, but not just any written word, classic American Horror Literature! In weeks I surpassed all the kids in my class and most in the classes ahead of me in terms of reading levels. I astonished my teacher, and mom. I remember my teacher not being too keen on what my reading material was, and having a discussion with my mother about that, but mom didn't see a boundary issue and my mind thanks her!
After that I became a voracious reader. It didn't take long for me to move on to new more modern authors of the day, names like Saul, King, Koontz and so many others. In one afternoon my world opened wide to a journey unlike anything I could have dreamed and help set in place the path that my days would take... And I will never forget it all started with "Once upon a midnight dreary..."
And that my friends is one of the many reasons I, as a mom, am happy to foster my children appreciation of the genre I so love. I am well aware of the lessons it has to offer and the interests it may spark in them. Who knows maybe one day it will be one of my lil monsters telling their children the story of how one Saturday afternoon watching a movie with mom and dad shaped their life...