Why I Stopped Watching The Following

Do you watch The Following? I love me some Kevin Bacon, so tuned in for the first few weeks and loved it. Then it started to feel too violent. Sometimes unnecessarily violent. And then it felt like while I was watching and snacking on a bowl of popcorn some psychopath in the US was also watching with more sinister intentions. As the show continued it just seemed like the life of sadistic killers was becoming too sexy and exciting. But, I kept watching.

Then Sandy Hook happened and I told Matt I just couldn't watch anything violent and we just needed to turn off the tv for a while. And then the bombs went off in Boston. It was all so terrible and heavy and made me realize how vulnerable each of us are as we go about our daily lives. I haven't watched The Following since. It's scary to realize the fragility of life, which is the single most frightening aspect of being a parent. The Following made me feel like anyone could be a target, but I was able to remind myself it was a tv show. The shootings and bombings were suddenly real life. You can't escape reality (well, you can, but I'm not really into psychedelics).

We can't stop leaving the house and taking our kids to school and going to the grocery store, I know this. So, I wonder if this is our new reality... Are tragedies like Sandy Hook and attacks like the Boston bombings just part of life? I don't want to admit that could be the truth.

While reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon I was reminded of the charmed life most Americans live compared to the majority of the world. I had to keep reminding myself that much of the book took place in 2004 in Chechnya. In 2004!!! As in when I was living the care-free existence of a 20-something in the city. Yet one of the main characters in the book was likely the same age and returned to her ravaged homeland after the start of a promising medical career in London. Fear of landmines, living in a seemingly lawless land, and the devastation that surrounded them was a reality... The fragility of life an actual concern every moment, not just something on television or the news.

I'm still not planning to watch The Following anymore. I'm sorry, Kevin Bacon, I love you and your skinny ties, but the world doesn't need any more ideas on how to hurt each other.

This post was inspired by the novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. In a war torn Chechnya, a young fatherless girl, a family friend, and a hardened doctor struggle with love and loss. Join From Left to Write on May 20 as we discuss Anthony Marra's debut novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Beckett: Age 2

Beckett is two. In some ways I can't believe he is ONLY two. A lot has happened since he was born, but it's hard to believe how the days fly by.

Beckett is the most charming trouble maker you'll ever meet. He loves to entertain and get a laugh and is constantly up to something. If he sees an opportunity for mischief, he takes it. There's a little gleam in his eyes as he runs around the house quick as he can. Speaking of, Beckett is extremely quick and light on his feet. He's agile and has great awareness of his body. His signature move is running away from you and diving under the closest piece of furniture.

Beckett loves Thomas the Train, Elmo, and the movie Rio. He thinks super heroes are super cool, especially Batman. Other than Batman, he calls every other super hero "Hulk." His favorite song is "Troublemaker" by Olly Murs. He insists on having daily dance parties to it.

Our blond haired, blue eyed angel face is a fearless climber and jumper, but is very clingy when introduced to new social situations. Once comfortable, he runs around like crazy and easily plays with other kids. However, Beckett is not a fan of sharing and is extremely possessive of his things. His best friend and cousin C is often at the receiving end of high-pitched shrieks of "Mine!" He's a passionate little fellow and things like getting his haircut or getting sized for new shoes result in intense screaming and crying. But his passion also leads him to practicing jump moves off the couch for 20 minutes or running at a low chair to jump and spin in the air perfectly for the better part of an afternoon.

Beckett loves being outside and it's one of the main things that lead him to a tantrum (poor guy has to watch people come and go a lot). He is a terrific companion for errands, as he's always happy just to be asked along. He is quiet and content in the car and terrific in shopping carts.

A very picky eater, Beckett's main source of nutrition is milk. He also enjoys hummus, eggs, cheese, and chocolate. His very favorite thing is french fries or chips. Otherwise, he won't eat much of anything.

Beckett is sweet and cuddly and extremely loving... when he wants to be. He likes everything on his terms and - if you can catch him - will reward you with generous hugs when he's in the mood.

Beckett has a great sense of comic timing, loves playing it up for a laugh, but is the most temperamental kid you might ever meet. He completely understands everything and his speech is starting to get better, which gives him a lot of pride.
While complete opposites in almost every way, Beckett adores his older brother.... But isn't afraid to get scrappy when he needs to. Overall the two of them have a sweet relationship and play well together. He is extremely sweet with his baby sister and his other favorite thing to say is "baby cry." He hates to hear her cry.

We're so lucky to have Becks as our little boy. He is joyous and rambunctious and mischievous and sweet and crazy and runs into life at full speed. Man, I love this kid.

Previous Birthday Post: