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Sometimes I wonder whether all the testosterone floating around in our home is turning me into one of the guys, or at least making me think like one.

I’m already to the point of not being grossed out by most things, including all sorts of insects and reptiles that used to make me say girly things like, "Eww, get it away from me!"

Today, I did something that prompted me to question how I have changed over the past 14-plus years; I dragged the kids to yet another action movie.

They hadn’t shown a lot of interest in seeing "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," so I didn’t bother saying where we were going as I rounded the boys up and headed out the door.

"We’re going to Wal-Mart, aren’t we?" Tommy asked. Without giving me time to answer, he yelled, "Hey Jimmy, we’re going to Wal-Mart."

"I never said we were going to Wal-Mart," I responded, trying to sound mysterious.

They were too busy teasing each other to pay much attention once we got in the car and I started driving.

When I turned into the parking lot, I gave them the option of going to a different movie at the same time. Naturally, they couldn’t agree on which "other" movie to see and ended up eating their popcorn and Twizzlers with the mummy and me.

Ronnie was a little scared of what might be in store for us, but I told him it wouldn’t be any scarier than the last movie we saw, "The Dark Knight."

We were all motivated to see that one. It seemed like everybody on the planet wanted to go see the new Batman movie and had been anticipating the event for months.

My kids just happen to be lucky enough to have a mother who insists on going the very first day when a big action flick comes out … at least that’s how I look at it.

Before the Caped Crusader returned to the big screen, we went to see Will Smith put his own twist on superhero movies in "Hancock." That one made everyone happy, as there was plenty of action for me and enough bad words (Ronnie counted them!) to make them feel like big boys.

My sons have come to expect me to take them to the latest movie starring Will Smith, unless of course, it happens to be a boring drama. That’s the genre of movies I used to enjoy before I became the fearless, tough-girl mom that I am today.

Now I go to the theater craving loud, fistfuls of entertainment. When I get there, upcoming action movies are previewed, making me want to come back for more.

It’s a vicious cycle, but I enjoy it.

When a movie comes out that looks too scary or violent for the boys to see, I simply go when they are at school. That’s what I did last year when "I Am Legend" came out.

In the middle of a weekday, I was sitting in a theater full of men in business suits who appeared to be playing hooky from work. It will likely be the same scenario when I go see the new James Bond movie in November.

I can always get my share of sappy movies in the comfort of my own home while the boys are wreaking havoc on our neighborhood. But if I’m going to pay the big bucks for a ticket and snacks, I want something that packs a punch, or better yet, several.

I was surprised when Jimmy said he liked "The Mummy" better than any of the movies we have seen this summer. "It was pretty much nonstop action," he said.

"Yeah," I said. "But it irritated me when they stopped fighting to talk."

He gave me that "I have the weirdest mom on earth look" and changed the subject. I should’ve seen that one coming.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 17 years and currently lives in Springfield, Virginia. E-mail her at homefront@stripes.osd.mil or by visiting her website at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.


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