Early last year, I bought a copy of the second season of The X-Files to binge on with the kids during the school holidays.
It was my favourite show when I was a bright young thing and – given the kids’ affection for fantasy and sci fi movies – I thought it would be a big hit with the second generation.
It was a DISASTER.
The eldest totally freaked out over an episode featuring a giant humanoid fluke worm living in the sewers and attacking people.
She took the disc out of the DVD player when it finished, handed it to me and said she wasn’t watching another episode EVER.
It’s not the first time there’s been an X-Files incident in the household (and I’m not referring to the sexually explicit jigsaw puzzles or other unexplained phenomenons.)
Back in 2013, I showed the eldest an episode where a fungus was discovered in a volcano and it took over people’s bodies and eventually killed them, with a prong of spore shooting through their chests. She asked for it to be turned off halfway through and became deeply traumatised.
Fast forward to July 2017 and we’re smashing our way through the third season of The X-Files. At age almost-14 there’s not the slightest chance of her even blanching at the most extreme episode. For the past nine months she’s been completely obsessed with a show called Supernatural, which makes The X-Files seem like a Sunday walk in the park.
Isn’t it funny how much a kid can change in such a short period of time?
And it’s not just the content of the two shows that’s spooky. The eldest has also realised that David Nutter, the bloke who directed around 15 episodes of The X-Files has also directed a few episodes of Supernatural … AND heaps of the guest stars from the latter are in the former.
Cue the creepy X-Files theme music …
It’s reminded me that while my daughter is vastly different to me on many levels, those shared genes still make themselves known.
Another example: I’m trying not to overthink how bizarre it is that she bugged me for a red bow tie recently – and wears a red neck tie – given I spent most of high school sporting one with my school uniform (HOW did I get away with that … both from a schoolyard bullying and uniform enforcement aspect?).
It’s also a bit weird to look at your child, with her red hair and red tie, and also see vast swathes of her father there.
The eldest has her dad’s razor intellect. I’m reminded that her brain is the most amazing, complex place on every rare occasion she chooses to speak her mind,
(And I have no frigging idea what her captions even mean on her Instagram shots.)
I see a bit of her father’s side of the family in her body too … but I don’t see any of us in her face. She is the most striking, unique teen. People get fooled by the red hair into thinking she looks like me, but she really doesn’t you examine our features.
I often wonder where her brain will take her. Currently, her ambition is to be a tattoo artist. It must be challenging to be that smart and yet so artistically inclined at the same time, trying to decide whether favouring your creativity or your intellect will give you the most satisfaction.
I don’t think I’d turn back the clock to 13 if a genie gave me the chance.
It looks waaaaaay tougher than it was in my youth. So many kids are so messed up. I wonder it’s because they have access to too much information, when all we had was the World Book encyclopedia.
Actually, I don’t know what age I’d get that genie to take me back to. I hate looking 49, but I love so many things about my life right now.
Ironic, don’t you think? I’m a bit sleepy, so I’m not sure if it’s Alanis-style ironic or actual ironic.
Song of the day: Alanis Morissette “Isn’t it ironic”