Having a Kid Made me a Sucker

Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

*Spoilers for Benjamin Button, unless you took a minute to think logically about how that plot would logically end.*

As we sat and watched the end of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and that little baby closed it's eyes for the last time, my eyes welled up. It wasn't even the quality of the movie, I just immediately thought of my daughter when she was a baby, and it crushed me.

Recently a trailer was released for the upcoming Dead Island video game, and while most games shy away from including children in any sort of chaos, this one had one at the forefront of it all. Now, of course, the actual game might not be anything like that trailer, but either way, that trailer got to me in a way that a majority of gamers overlooked.

It starts with a little girl lying dead on the the ground and zooms out from her eye. In reverse, she flys upwards through the air, into a window, and onto a mans back where she takes to biting his flesh off. Inter-cut with the reversed drama inside the hotel room, is the normal forward-moving panic of the little girl trying to outrun a horde of zombies to get to the hotel room. She stumbles in front of the door, and the man who we've by now assumed is her father runs to pull her to safety. As the camera slows and focuses on his look of horror while he tries in vain to rescue his already doomed daughter, I turn into a sucker.

When any sort of media involves a child in danger, or dying of any cause, I inevitably think of my own. I live for that kid, and any thought of harm coming to her tears me up inside. When the window crashed down on her and cut open her nose, I was the most scared I've ever been. I clutched her against my chest as she bled on me and rushed downstairs yelling for Zoe. I've never felt that way before, but it's par for the course when it comes to parenthood.

I've always had a weird sort of complex. As I sit on the toilet in a truck stop bathroom, I start to think about what I would do if someone busted into my stall with a weapon, ready to mug me. I imagine that the best way to fight them off in that situation would be to use the top of the toilet tank to bash over their heads. Where I was, that'd easily be the best weapon at my disposal.

Since Emmy was born, that odd thought process has only increased, only now it revolves around Emerson. I constantly run through worst-case scenarios in my head. Hopefully one of those never comes to pass, but I guess I'll be prepared if they do. Because as a parent it is my job to make sure that the stuff I watch in movies and play in video games never happens to my kid.

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