A few days ago I woke before my alarm clock and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Not necessarily a bad thing, because that meant I had some extra computer time before getting ready for work. So, after my morning blog routine, I surfed the Net.
Ikuni had been dying to see the Malice Mizer music video to the song, Illuminati, so I searched for it on google video. A few choices came up. I clicked on one, turned the sound up as loud as I dared, and watched. It didn’t take long to realize that it was indeed the notorious Illuminati video.
I’d heard rumors about it. But, nothing prepared me for what I saw. The video was filled with images of rape, murder and self-mutilation.
When it was over, I sat in the dark and wondered, do I tell Ikuni about this?
I've asked myself similar questions before. Like the time when Drummer, then 18, came to me and said he’d been invited to a party where he knew there’d be alcohol and pot. He said that the host's parents were aware of it and that no one could leave till they were sober. He added that he didn't plan on drinking or smoking. Could he go?
I thought for a minute then told him I appreciated his honesty and asking for my permission. I shared some potential risks but then said he was a legal adult, he could go if he wanted, and if he did go and needed me, he could call at any time.
He left with friends around 10 PM. At 3 AM the phone rang. When I picked him up, he reeked of pot. He was clearheaded, though, and told me about the experience. He said how sad it was to see some of his friends get trashed (it was the first time he'd been to a party like that). One became morosely silent, one insanely giddy. Some had more moderate responses. He said that, though he didn't judge his friends, he’d decided that night he would never do drugs. I was glad he went.
Ikuni told me once that she felt young people might make right choices more often if they felt the freedom to make wrong ones. I agreed and said that parents should be involved in their teens' lives, but maybe they should simply share information, give their take, and then be supportive, truly supportive, no matter what decisions their children make.
As I sat in front of the computer with my afghan pulled round me, I heard Ikuni stirring upstairs. She shuffled sleepily into the living room and plopped on the couch. I’d decided. I went to her and whispered, “I found the Illuminati video.”
Wide awake in a flash, she bounded into the kitchen.
“I must warn you,” I said, “It’s sexually violent and very disturbing.”
“Mom, I want to see it,” she said.
So, we watched it together. Twice. And afterwards we talked and talked and talked. The conversation continued when I got home from work, and we’ve spoken about it a number of times since. I’ve been pleased with the depth and maturity of Ikuni’s comments. My little girl really is growing up.
Parenting this way, though, is scary. It’s like driving into a fog. But, it seems, at least so far, that a clear road is on the other side.
EDITED to say: in all honesty, not all of Ikuni's comments were deep and serious. She is, after all, still a rabid j-rock fangirl.