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The Fatherhood Games

by Ronald A. Rowe | March 28th, 2012 | Helpful Hints, Tweens

I am officially the father of a Tween now. I was spared the whole Twilight ordeal because my children were too young to care about some mopey girl and her Vampire / Werewolf suitors. But The Hunger Games? That’s a whole other story.

My now 11-year-old son devoured the books. He read and re-read and re-re-read them until the covers fell off. He knows what each District produces and which ones have Career tributes. He begged and begged (unsuccessfully) to go to the midnight premier, but he couldn’t convince me that being out until 3 AM on a school night was a good idea.

So Friday night I found myself, an hour before show time, standing in line at the Cobb Theater to ensure that we’d have prime seats for the show. I’ve got to say the whole experience was … actually pretty fun. The crowd, although large, was well-behaved and upbeat. Everyone was so happy to be there that any petty complaints were cheerfully overlooked. The movie was playing in three different theaters so there wasn’t any shortage of seats.

Better than any of that was the fact that I got to spend some quality time with my son, doing something that was really important to him. We talked and talked — we had plenty of time while waiting for the trailers to begin — about school, girls, books, and, of course, The Hunger Games. We took turns reading from the People Magazine Special Hunger Games Edition (really). He’s Team Gail; I’m Team Peeta.

After the movie there was more talking, but mostly about the book, the movie, and how the book was different from the movie. I bought him a Mockingjay pin that, so far, he only takes off when he goes to bed at night. He surely came away from the evening knowing how much his dad loves and cares about him. It was a really special time for us to spend together, and all because I took an interest in what interests him.

And I have to admit the movie wasn’t bad, either.

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