Sam has always been the boy who didn’t know fear. I think that when he and his father had their bonding moment after his birth–the moment when they thought it might just be the two of them–Sam chose the path with no fear. Or something equally mystical and chambara-esque.
So he has never been afraid of the dark, or falling, or monsters, or of anything else you’re supposed to be afraid of. We’ve watched grown-up movies with him his entire life, avoiding anything we feel is inappropriate (he hasn’t seen a Dario Argento film since he was three weeks old and couldn’t focus on the television yet) but not censoring much. Basically, he watches what he likes, and he likes Adventure and Sci-Fi. (The fact that he thinks I am stupid for occasionally saying that Han Solo and Indiana Jones are the same person is another, much funnier story.)
The first time Sam ever displayed something akin to fear, he was three or four years old and watching the Star Wars movies on heavy rotation. Against our better judgement, we allowed him to find out about the prequels, and because children do not know any better he loves them beyond reason. He had Revenge of the Sith on, and at one point he abruptly got up and found something else to do across the room; watching out of the corner of his eye, but pointedly ignoring the movie at the same time. It was the scene at the end when Obi-Wan and Anakin fight and Anakin falls into the lava. He did not want to see them fight.
(Side note: one day last week I saw Sam pick up his Anakin Skywalker Lego minifig from the table. He whispered, “Darth Vader,” and I ruined it by loudly repeating, “DARTH VADER?” He looked at me like I am the most stupid human being ever put on the planet–don’t forget, I get Han and Indy confused–and said, “No mama. ANAKIN.”)
Fast forward to now. Grace is nearly two years old and loves the Toy Story movies with a passion my children usually reserve for milk. I know Sam loved these movies but I am having trouble believing that anyone has ever loved them as Grace loves them. “Buddy!” she cries. “Buddy, Buh, Git?” (If you do not speak Toddler, this translates to “Woody! Woody, Buzz, Jessie?”)
Because Grace is not yet two, she does not have much of an attention span. She gets up and plays while her movies are on, but she always goes back. The other day Toy Story 3 was on and I noticed that Grace was behaving strangely–she was very agitated, crossing the room back and forth and just generally acting strangely and ignoring the movie while keeping an eye on it. So I checked, and the toys were in the garbage dump headed for the incinerator. Of course!
My children. They don’t like to watch bad things happen.