July 29th, 2011 was perhaps the best day of my life. No, I wasn’t sent a preview screener copy of the ‘Star Wars Saga‘ Blu-ray collection earlier than anyone else. My news is far better. My son was born – healthy, alert, and ready to begin his journey of life. And when your father is a movie critic, that means getting started on movies at a very young age.
Dexter Aaron Peck came into this world with his eyes wide open. He didn’t cry much; he just sat there and took everything in. His observant nature could be a precursor to becoming a movie critic in training. He’s only a few days old, so I haven’t tried to introduce him to the world of movies just yet. However, I can’t wait for the day where we can sit down and share a movie experience together. I hope our first movie together is a special one. There’s a lot of planning to be done.
Just in case any of you were wondering, yes, we did get the name Dexter from the TV show. I’ll probably leave out that bit of information as he grows up. I don’t want to have to explain why I named him after a fictional serial killer when he turns five. In all fairness, he really isn’t named after the character. We just thought, “Hey, that’s a cool name.” That’s what you get when your dad is obsessed with TV and movies. I’m already planning to name our next son (if we have one) after Maximus from ‘Gladiator‘. That’s just the way we roll.
As a discerning father, I plan to give Dexter a wide and thorough study in cinema. While I’m excited to see what his favorite Disney movie will be, or what Pixar he’ll want to watch over and over, I want him to have a wide variety of movies to watch. Sure, in his early years we’ll keep it G-rated whenever his eyeballs are on the screen. I don’t know what other parents do and I wouldn’t want to tell anyone else how to parent, but we’re going to monitor Dexter’s media consumption as closely as we can. When he gets older, we won’t be able to control what he watches, but hopefully we’ll be able to lay down some ground rules as he grows up that will help him when choosing movies later in life.
I hope that Dexter will be able to enjoy the classics as well as the brightly-colored Pixar movies. I plan to give him a well-versed education in ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek‘, ‘Indiana Jones’ and all other manner of geeky movies. I’m excited to see his face light up when he sees his first lightsaber battle, or watch how he reacts as Nazi faces melt off. I remember shutting my eyes as tightly as I could as a kid during that part. Hopefully, if he feels scared, he’ll do the same.
I want to be there for him. I want to be able to share movie experiences with him. Movies can be so much more than just mindless entertainment. So many times, movies are used as electronic babysitters. I hope that I can help my child understand that they are so much more.
This whole post may seem trivial to some, but to a person like me, who makes a living watching and discussing film, it will be important to me to share those experiences with my son.
Right now, Dexter is too busy eating and pooping. But once he finds out what that giant glowing box in the living room can do, we’ll hopefully have many nights where father and son share a great movie.