Today I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. A couple months ago that would have been fine. It was only about 2 or 3 inches and will probably melt very quickly. The problem is that Spring started a couple weeks ago. It is now April. The Red Sox play their season opener today. There simply should NOT be any more snow. I guess it's nature's way of trying to hold onto something that's really gone.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. Sometimes we can get comfortable with something and continue to do it long after the time that we should have given it up. I started this blog as a way to document my relationship with my oldest daughter. I always loved old monster/horror/science fiction movies as a kid (still do for that matter) and wanted to expose her to the kind of stuff I loved to see if she might have an interest in it too. She probably wouldn't have discovered Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman on her own at her young age. I didn't want to force anything on her, but figured it wouldn't hurt to show her this kind of stuff and see what she thought of it. It was very exciting to see her enjoying all those old movies and shows--kind of like re-living a little piece of my own past. It was a way of seeing some of the magic of my youth through her young eyes. All the time I made sure that I only gave her the opportunity to see all this stuff. I didn't want to force it onto her. I never tried to prevent her from finding out about princesses and fairies. I certainly didn't want her going to school and becoming an out-of-touch "freak" when she met all the "normal" children who would become her peers. The monster movies were always my own personal taste, and I was very glad that she found a similar interest in them. She has turned out to have a very well-rounded set of interests, in my opinion at least. In addition to loving monster movies, the old Spiderman cartoon from the 60s, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Ultraman and all the other stuff I introduced her to she is also into Zhu-Zhu Pets, Barbie, Disney Princesses, fairies, unicorns and all the rest of the stuff one would expect a five year old girl to be interested in.
This morning I discovered that it might be time to let a piece of our relationship go. She is now about five months into her fifth year and is in preschool. As she grows up her tastes change, which is only natural. She now picks out her own clothes and dresses herself. She is learning about "cool" things from her classmates and having play dates. My Little Monster is growing up and becoming a "Big Girl". As hard as that might be to accept, I really don't have much of a choice in the matter.
This morning, as the Spring snowfall was covering the ground and coating the tree branches, my Little Monster woke up as usual and demanded "a snack and a show". When I found out that school had been cancelled because of the storm I proposed that we should hunker down and snuggle up to a good Godzilla movie (we haven't watched any in a couple months as she's been going through a big Disney movie phase). ...And that was when she broke my heart. That may be a bit of a dramatic way of putting it, but suffice to say it was a tough morning for Monster Dad.
Not only did my "baby" say that she would prefer to watch "Finding Nemo" or a Barbie video over watching a Godzilla movie with me, she actually sat me down and--with a great amount of sensitivity for a five-year-old--told me that she no longer likes Godzilla. She seems to think now that monster movies are a little silly. While she said she might still watch an occasional episode of Scooby-Doo with me, her tastes have dramatically changed and seem to have solidified in a more "mature" direction. She wants her room to be redone in pink, and she wants to replace her monster toys with Barbies, princesses and ponies (she has generously offered the monster toys to me). I suppose that this has been a slow evolution that simply came to a head today, but it just kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. My little girl was no longer a Monster Kid. It may have been inevitable (and I certainly won't try to force her back to her old interests or hold her back from her new ones), but it still makes me a bit sad.
I guess I should embrace the individual that my daughter has become, and I will do just that of course. I still love her every bit as much as I did yesterday. She'll always be my Little Monster in my heart.
Taking a cue from my daughter, I've decided that it's also time to retire Monster Dad. The whole premise of the blog was to talk about my daughter and I sharing a love for monsters and aliens. I still love all that stuff (and probably always will), but she has moved on. Perhaps I should do the same. I still plan on blogging. It has been a fun experience and I still feel that I have a lot to write about (whether anyone wants to read about it or not). I think I'll simply stop writing as Monster Dad and start a new blog with a fresh name and premise. Just as Spring is bringing new life to the world outside (aside from today's snowstorm), I'm going to try to have a bright outlook as I start on my new path. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out what direction I want to go in and start writing the new blog very soon. I will make one final post on Monster Dad to let anyone interested know where to find the "new me". Cross your fingers. A whole new adventure begins...
Oh, and by the way, did you happen to notice what today's date is? It's April First.