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Friday, July 18, 2008

Fearful Fascinations

When Alex was five she developed a great interest in snakes. "Yuck," I thought. My cousin, Timbra, loved snakes. When we were little and would play outside, she would scout them out. Upon the sighting of a garter snake, she'd pick up the little devil and delight at my unabashed screams of terror. So Alex was going to follow in my cousin's footsteps. Or, at least I thought.

During this 'snake' phase, we visited the zoo. I put on my brave mom-face to visit the Pavillion where the reptiles were showcased. It immediately became evident that Alex wasn't really the snake charmer she claimed to be. As a matter of fact, she was a bit reluctant to look at the snakes at all. I pretended to enjoy the sights of the slimy, creepy serpents while beckoning her to take a look. She politely informed me that she was fine standing a fair distance from the cages. Apparently her fascination was laced with fear.

Now Cole has a similar fascination. Only his object of attention (not affection) is none other than, 'The Joker'. Most of you know Cole's history of superheros. It all started with Buzz Lightyear and quickly went to Spiderman. Then Batman. Then Spiderman. Then Darth Vader. Then Spiderman. Then Superman (very short-lived). Then Spiderman. Then Darth Vader. Then a short-lived stunt with Iron Man. Oh, and I suppose The Power Rangers need to be mentioned as well.

Obviously, we're focused on Batman right now with all the Dark Knight publicity. (It helps that Doug has mentioned that Batman is the only really cool superhero.) So despite our incessant discussions of Bruce Wayne along with the devising and revising of costumes, we will not be visiting the big screen this weekend for the premiere. No Sirree. Well, have you SEEN The Joker? He's pretty creepy. As a matter of fact, Cole won't even watch the previews. He hides his eyes. Then demands to have a full recount of how The Joker looked and what he did.

Doug hates to see his son be so open about his fear. "Fine. You'll have to stay home. The rest of us will go see the movie." Cole immediately responds, "You and Alex go. Mom will stay with me." Cole knows me too well. And he really wants to hear about the movie. Whether we venture to The Dark Knight or not remains to be seen.

There must be a fine line between fear and fascination -- at least for our kids. The good news is that Alex no longer obsesses about snakes. But she is awfully fascinated about boys -- especially Nick Jonas. It's a good thing we bought her Jonas Brother concert tickets, only of course, so she can face her fear...

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