Dearest Son and I share a love of storytelling. When he was seven, he wrote his first book: The Secrets of Zorth. DS used to tell me a story in the car when he was tiny…it was a horror story featuring a villain named Dinkadakadore, an old woman who was also a man and was in jail for biting people. I still get the willies thinking about it. He still writes, but he’s more private about it, which I completely understand.
We usually love the same movies—Iron Man, The Secret Life of Walter Middy, Napoleon Dynamite. We talk about why Tony Stark is the coolest Avenger, and why we’re bored by perfect heroes. He tolerates my crush on Robert Downey Jr. and was pleased when I fell for Tom Hiddleston, who has always been his favorite bad-guy as Loki.
And we both love the medium of TV. Not a lot of writers admit they love TV. I do. Because we are old-fashioned, our kids aren’t allowed to watch TV on a school night, but I broke this year and let Dearest Son watch The Walking Dead with me on Sunday nights. After all, he’s an honor student. He still says he loves me. He has been known to tolerate a kiss in public. So I let him, and we bonded over our horror and shock and irritation with various elements of the show. I would occasionally post one of his comments as a tweet, and he’d be quite pleased if people retweeted it. These days, I’m watching Lost, which he watched last summer, and we have some great conversations about the characters.
To be honest, I generally don’t love zombies. I don’t like adventure shows. But I do like hearing my teenage son talk to me about moral choices and plot twists, foreshadowing and character arc. And I’ll admit. I like sitting next to him on the couch, when occasionally, if a scary moment is coming up and he knows I’m going to be scared, he’ll put his hand on my knee and tell me it will be okay. My little guy, looking out for me.