Friday, June 10, 2011

The Great Compromise of Books and Movies

To My Darling Children,

Ever since Tuesday evening, life has been a bit anxious. That was the evening we finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. You all loved it, you ate up every chapter, you've made drawings of the characters and we've talked so many times about the good and evil sides to the story.

I wish you were this fascinated with the Gospel.

And up until this book, we have enjoyed three wonderful, popcorn-filled evenings huddled together watching the Harry Potter movies after finishing the respective book.

But now comes the problem.

From here on out - as we have talked about - the movies become PG-13. And as you know, in our family, we don't watch those shows until you turn 13. In fact, you know there are lots of PG-13 shows we don't watch period. Many, many of these will be up to your personal discretion and we pray you chose wisely when the time comes.

Aside from the scary moments, the situations that you're not ready to jump into yet, and the basic fact that following Hollywood standards is like buying expired meat from Mexico - you have a sweetness about you right now that is slowly depleting - even without watching these movies. You will never have this again - never be like this again. And as your mother, I'd like to make this a more hallowed time as opposed to what society would rather do to you instead.

So here's my deal. And because you know how much your mother adores a good book discussion. I will let you watch the Harry Potter movies (and for that matter - the Lord of the Rings movies). But you must READ THE BOOK FIRST.

By yourself alone.

After you are done, we will have a lively, spirited discussion on character development, plot, how it relates to your life and your goals, etc. I want to know what you loved about these books as well as what you hated, and if it changed any way you perceive life around you.

Yep - I know. You're not thrilled about reading books that advanced on your own. I know you can't right now. It's all part of the wisdom of this plan. It could in fact buy me a few more years post age 13 when you can finally watch the movies. Or it might motivate you to start reading earlier. Either way, it's a good ending.

And then - I'll provide tons and tons of popcorn, loads of candy and soda.

And hopefully you'll let me watch with you.



PS - May I suggest somewhere along the way to try reading Gone With the Wind and Pride and Prejudice?? You wont be able to top those film adaptations.


Britt said...

That's why we just stopped reading after book 2. And my kid just doesn't get it. We try to talk about the good and evil but I can tell it's not going in his brain. Even 1/2 way through book 2 he had to ask, "who is Snape again?"

kj said...

You're a wise mother.

leadatortilla said...

I got home from a trip out of town to find out that Hunter had finished book 7 on his own (when grandma left off in the middle) and we had a fabulous discussion about the ending. I'm sorry to say, that age may be approaching quicker than you want!

Amber said...

That is a good plan. I have often wondered what to do because I live the books & movies so much.

Jen T said...

Love it! So how did they take it???

Nicole said...

Diego has seriously caught the Harry Potter bug and we also made the deal that he has to finish the series before he can watch the last movie. He finished book 5 today and is about 80 pages into book 6. He loves them and has decided that books are in fact better than the movies. Here's to raising a future generation of book worms!

KMDuff said...

8yr old read all 7 in less than 2 months. Then re-read the first few several times. We let him see the first 3 movies but I'm still asking him to wait on the later ones. I agree with you overall though. 6 yr old read the first couple books and saw the movies too. Don't believe he understood them as much (proved by the trivia games) but he read them. And we have listened to the audios of all of them...Ah, what a dilemma. Right now we're sticking with the no PG-13 until you're 13, but will we feel the same when they are 11 or 12?

Alisa said...

Wisdom, indeed!