Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Paparazzi ... and Me

No, I'm not famous. The paparazzi don't stalk me or my kids at preschool like they do to Nicole Richie's kids. But I watched the HBO documentary "Teenage Paparazzo" this week and it got me thinking about me and my kids.

One thing that was mentioned in the documentary is that people these days feel unnaturally close to many celebrities (they called it a something relationship, but I forget what that "something" is, and I deleted the movie from my DVR). But basically, so many people are obsessed with Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, and it's because they don't have many other substantive relationships in their lives. Our lives are much more solitary. Kids don't gather at each other's homes after school or ride bikes down the street. It's a much different kind of childhood these days.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I need to do more activities with my kids. But not the kind of structured activities that leads to over-scheduled kids. We need to go to the library more. The playground more. Have friends over to the house more. It made me realize that we are a little too solitary. And while I love just us and our family life, it really is good to have other important relationships. Which reminds me - I really should knock on my new neighbor's door and introduce myself.

A couple other random comments about the documentary:
1) The whole movie is centered around a 13-year-old kid who is a member of the paparazzi. I understand it's important to give your kids freedom and let them pursue their interests, but quite bizarre that this kid was regularly out until 3:00 a.m. snapping pictures.
2) I've grown a little sick of the whole celebrity culture. I mean, I used to be People Magazine's #1 subscriber, but I cancelled my subscription after the magazine ran a photo of Jennifer Garner carrying her daughter Violet out of preschool. Violet is maybe a year older than my older daughter, and she looked completely terrified surrounded by a swarm of photographers. That was the line for me. Don't follow a kid to preschool -- let the family live some type of regular life. So I really applaud Nicole Richie for what she's doing to keep the paparazzi away from her kids at school. OK, off soapbox now. :)

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