These are strange times. Even if you weren’t a Supernatural fan, you’d probably be wondering if an actual apocalypse is upon us. Since you ARE a fan, it’s more likely you appreciate the irony of yet another plotline of Supernatural reflecting real life. But our jokes about Pestilence and Croatoan quickly fell flat once we realized, just like Sam and Dean, the seriousness of our situation, so we readied ourselves for unexpected happenings.
As a Supernatural fan who has been lucky enough NOT to have been affected by all the tragedy CoVid-19 has caused (so far), this has been a pretty nice scenario. I can imagine my inner, “post-covid” self sharing the current circumstances with my inner, pre-covid self and hearing “Now lemme get this straight. I won’t have to go class, or pick up my kids from anywhere, or go into work for two months? And I can watch the last two minutes of ‘Heart’ for two hours straight and no one will be the wiser?? Heck ya! I’m totally down with this!”
But as a mom, I can not completely check out. Instead, I do something I thought I would never do--I share Supernatural with my kids.
At first, I am not sure it’s a good idea. They are 11 and 14, so only one of them is of recommended age. But they have watched intense sci-fi shows before, so I decide to give it a go. We start with what’s on cable TV, which happens to be the end of season 6. The Leviathan. Not my favorite story arch, but both my boys dig it. At first, I feel like a good mom because they notice holes in the writing and freak out when Dean flirts with the ladies. “Dean!! No!!!” they scream at the screen, so I even feel a little proud.
We make our way through 7, 8, 9 and part of 10. At first I am pretty good about warning them about certain scenes. Like I know they won’t be able to handle (or totally understand?) the scene where Dean describes what sex is like. I tell them we can fast forward through it but that I am not totally sure how long the scene goes on, so they decide to leave the room while it’s happening (that means I get to watch the scene...again. It’s a win-win!).
9.08 "Rock and a Hard Place"
But then there are scenes that I forget about and do not prepare them for, like when Crowley’s son is outraged when he finds out that his dad originally sold his soul for “three extra inches of willy.” Ooopps.
9.21 "King of the Damned"
So I wait, in hopes the comment will just dissolve amid other dialog. Then I feel my younger son staring at the side of my face. I turn slightly so I can see his eyes, reflected in the light of the living room monitor, glistening with embarrassment. He grabs my arm and yells “What?!?! Mom!!!” “Sorry,” I squeak. I missed it.
9.08 "Rock and a Hard Place"
It’s now official. I am a bad mom.
But that event turns out to be of benefit. It allows us to adjust to our situation. From that point forward, I find I can just say “Sorry” when something like that comes up again and everyone can stay where they are--and with Demon Dean around, it starts happening a lot. But what is not happening are any questions about the more adult themes...yet. I start to realize that this common experience might come in handy in the future. I can use the situations in this show to talk about sex, bullying, or respectful ways to treat other people when they DO have questions. That’s my rationalization anyway, and I think it’s a pretty good one.
Then a bit of internal judgement returns. I wonder...if they were much younger, would I still have succumbed to my impulse to share something I love with my kids during “Covid Break?” Pretty sure the husband would have had a stronger opinion, but I can’t be sure. I do know we are escaping. We are each watching Supernatural to find fun in our current, unavoidable, uncomfortable situation. The result from watching, though, is different. For them, these guys are characters. For me, these guys are people, and knowing who they are as humans and how many other people think they are awesome feels validating.
When I watch them on the show or see them on social media, it reminds me of my tribe. I am part of something bigger. I feel a bit safer because I am part of an organized group. I have power. I am important. I gain confidence from being a part of this fandom, and I can take that with me even after the show ends. I also have hope that my own boys will find something in their lives that gives them that sense of belonging, too.
But for now, I am just wondering if I should keep my stash of Supernatural T-shirts hidden from my older. He is asking if he can wear one, but he may be too big to fit into any of them. They are both growing so fast...sniff, sniff…
12.02 "Mama Mia"
Pull it together, mom! It’s time to watch another episode of Supernatural...as soon as possible!!
Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Supernatural moms!
How have you navigated watching Supernatural with children at home? Any embarrassing or validating stories to share? Let us know in the comments below!