Have you ever re-watched a movie that you'd last seen when you were a child, only to remember that your memory of it was completely different from the actual movie? Case in point: Gremlins. The last time I'd seen Gremlins was when it was released, in 1984. When I came across it on my Netflix "Movies you may enjoy" suggestions, I was reminded of the cute and fuzzy Gizmo (I once had a stuffed animal of him!) and the nasty Gremlin (forgot his name) pulling a few silly tricks here and there, and I thought - Perfect movie for my 9 year old!
Well, I had forgotten about the science teacher being murdered then dragged under a desk by the Gremlin with the mohawk, about the mom blasting another Gremlin to death in the microwave, about the Senior Citizen being ejected violently from her staircase lift, out the window, where she died in the snow, Kate's holiday depression over the fact that her father died while dressed as Santa Claus and attempting to crawl down a chimney, the drunk policemen (later murdered off as well). Whereas I remembered Gremlins as a cute kid's movie, it's really a dark horror/comedy primer for kids. Which means my son and his friend loved it.
(Looking around for more info on it, I was not so surprised to discover that it was heavily criticized for violence upon release. In response to Gremlins and some other movies of the era, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reformed its rating system within two months of its release, creating the PG-13 rating.)
Since the action takes place on Christmas Eve, Gremlins is the perfect tween holiday movie, a good break from all the other sappy holiday favorites.
After that hit, I'm eager to replay some other favorites from my youth: Goonies, Adventures in Babysitting, the Back to the Future trilogy. Click here to see what we're screening tonight!
Do I even need to state the obvious? Moving into a new home is Exhausting with a capital E. With a 10-month old in tow, times that by twenty. For the past three weeks I have either been packing, unpacking, arranging, putting something together, caring for the kids, sometimes simultaneously. By the end of the day, my husband and I pretty much pass out - no need for sleeping aids here! But despite all the upheavals and elbow grease, I'm just plain old happy to be in a new (old) home of our own.
The to-do list goes on and on: we need to paint the basement, overhaul the kitchen, get some lights in the closets and hallways - but to finish that list would require another hour of writing time and I have to sweep the porch, put the dishes away, empty the garbage, prepare lunch, hopefully squeeze in a shower before the baby wakes from her nap. And to complete each item on that list is going to take, I fear, a few years and a whole lot of money, which, after purchasing our big home in the city, just isn't there.
Oh - and there are the gargoyles. Notice that there are two gargoyles cemented to our front porch. Hopefully my husband will manage to knock them off this weekend. While my son is rooting for us to keep them and dress them up for the holidays ("Pilgrim hats for Thanksgiving!" he suggested, "Uncle Sam hats for the 4th of July!") my superstitious husband (it's Roman thing) is supposing, "What if taking them down brings us bad luck?" Well, I don't want to mess with the superstition, and I do think the dressing up for the holidays thing would be cute, but I'm just not that into gargoyles. I say we sledgehammer them off and take them out for Halloween, if they aren't in millions of pieces. And just to be on the safe side, I may stick a statue of Mary somewhere in the front garden: She'll keep things under control.
After our main move, I fell onto our just rebuilt bed and told my husband, "Just give me fifteen minutes. That's it. And then I'm all yours." (He needed my help putting together the baby's crib). And for those fifteen minutes, I listened to the noises of our new home: My son had already befriended a neighbor, a boy his age, and was playing Nerf guns on the front porch, my husband was whistling as he began to assemble the crib, and the baby was babbling beside him. I savoured those sounds and that moment and thought: this is just the beginning. Yes, there is still A LOT of work to be done, but we are finally home.