We've enjoyed family movie night on Friday evenings for quite a while now. We've shared plenty of laughter, plenty of tears (I simply cannot make it through Maria's bridal march to save my life) and, unfortunately . . . plenty of disagreements.
Yes, it's true.
This discord is largely on account of three factors:
1. We are all sinners. All six of us. This means we are all selfish. Which means we all want our own way.
2. We are all different ages. All six of us. This means that a teenage boy and a six-year-old girl will not necessarily both be thrilled when the movie choice for the night is Star Wars. Someone's gonna object. But I'm not gonna say who.
3. We all have different interests. All six of us. (Have you noticed a theme here?) I like 40s classics. Jamie gets a kick out of the old Disney movies. The boys like . . . boy things that shout and make noise. The girls would watch Little Women every week if they could.
I'm not sure how many times we've started a movie, only to find that half of the members were bored out of their minds (or asleep). This usually meant that we ended up resorting to choosing a couple of Andy Griffith episodes which we knew would be a hit. But still. Variety is nice. And I really hate the thought of sitting in front of the television "just because."
What's a family to do?
Thankfully, my brilliant husband recently came up with a solution. We each take turns being in charge of family movie night. How easy is that? We're starting with Miss Kate. This means that tonight she gets to select the movie.
This also means that everyone else gets to selflessly put themselves into the shoes of a six-year-old girl and grow to appreciate her interests and tastes. We don't balk at her choice, but eagerly enjoy the time spent together.
Furthermore, each person will be enriched by a greater variety of film choices which will eventually lead to stimulating discussions and a widened understanding of the world around us. (Of course at this point in the game Dad and Mom still preview and carefully monitor the titles that are available to the children.)
I know that the older children will start to see the dilemma that we parents face: How to select titles that a wider audience will appreciate? They get the idea of wanting to enjoy a flick while also being aware of other viewers in the room. I'm interested to see how this all pans out.
For now, Miss Kate has Enchanted on the brain. Bethie is eager to share Anne of Green Gables in a few weeks, and Aidan is trying to decide between Cars 2 and Newsies. I know which one I would choose, but I shan't say a word. This sinful old mom (who prefers musicals) will quietly step aside and thoroughly enjoy whatever her nine-year-old pops into the player. Because that's what family movie night is all about.
What are your favorite family movies?