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Why I am not going to pretend I like Star Wars to please my kid

Claire Zulkey wonders when she'll ever get used to the idea that she has two boys. She is the author of two books for young people, An Off Year and Best Frenemies. She and her filmmaker husband live in Evanston, IL. You can find out more...

Do we have to pretend everything our kid likes is awesome?

I am not into Star Wars. I am not going to apologize for this, nor am I interested in changing this about myself. My husband is kind of into Star Wars — he has fond memories of liking it as a kid and will watch maybe one installment a year, but it’s not his thing.

My son, however, is 4 years old, and he has picked up somewhere that he is into Star Wars the way he picked up that he is into superheroes and that saying the word “poo-poo butt” is funny — because it’s what his friends at school are into. So, fine; it’s what he’s into.

More: Why does a female hero in Star Wars: Rogue One upset people so much?

The other day I told my kid I was going shopping for him, and he asked me if I would get him a Star Wars shirt. And I told him no.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because I don’t like Star Wars,” I said. For some reason, he didn’t question this at all.

I wondered if maybe it was not kind of me to say that, but it was sort of refreshing to. Instead of coming up with some lame excuse why I couldn’t get him a Star Wars shirt and having to stick with that story, I told the truth, which is easier to remember. I can deal with a cute Batman shirt, but I have actually seen most of the Batman movies. We have a mutual understanding about why Batman is cool. I think I would feel the way I do about Star Wars if he got a jersey from a team I know nothing about.

I later told my son that if he wants to, he is welcome to buy himself anything Star Wars with his own money (which he gets in family greeting cards or from taking part in research studies at a university near us.) And of course, if somebody gave him a Star Wars toy, I would not intercept it — I’m not a monster.

More: Pets rocking Star Wars costumes for Halloween

But I just don’t like Star Wars enough to act like I think it’s cool because he thinks it’s cool. And maybe that is a good life lesson. That not everybody has to like the same things. And that maybe it shows strength of character to be honest and say you don’t like a thing most people like.

Or maybe I just really don’t like Star Wars.

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