When I was a kid I was not good with scary.

We used to go to the movies and I would cover my eyes and put my head down until the trailers were over – we went to an old theatre that would show movies like The Blob and other scary 50s things. At home, once we got our first VCR (so exciting!) my mom would put on Ghostbusters and I would wait upstairs until they told me the opening scene in the library was over so I could come down and watch the rest of the movie. I don’t know why that scene scared me more than the rest – maybe it lacked an appropriate comedy buffer.

Then there was the time my best friend had a Halloween party and they were going to watch a campy horror movie and I was so scared about even the prospect of watching the movie that I called my mom to pick me up early.

Why yes, that did get me teased at school.

Flash forward a few years and my sister and I are raiding the Horror section at Blockbuster. For my 16 birthday we went to a triple screening – Scream 1, 2 and 3. And then there was that time that I spent all Halloween day watching the Friday the 13th marathon on TV and then we went to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the theatre after dark.

All this to say things have changed since I was a terrified kid.

Now take my daughter: More easily scared than I was at any age.

Scared face
Scared face

Books, movies, whatever it is, at the very hint of a bad guy she wants me to stop. She tells me she wants to watch princess movies, but not one that has a witch. Think on that for a minute. I want to show her all the movies I loved as a kid and classics I’ve grown to love since, but I always have to backpedal – what about this scene or that person.

To this day I have only seen the first half of Brave and less than 15 minutes of The Princess and the Frog.

I saw that Annie is on Netflix now and I know she would love the singing and dancing, but then there’s that scene at the railroad tracks and Rooster is chasing her…

The Princess Bride is wonderful, but the ROUSs…

On the one hand I get that she’s sensitive and I don’t want to be the mom that brings on bad dreams. I remember feeling that way when I was a kid, not being able to separate. I used to have terrible dreams. On the other hand I feel as though she’s missing these opportunities to watch really great storytelling – and the bad guys don’t get to win.

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