Then I read the blog the author, a single parent, wrote about raising her children. I envisioned a Saturday night at her house when the little ones were growing up, and the author, sitting in a room with only the glare of the television lighting the area. Her three young children are around her, watching the B/W version of Dracula or Psycho. At every scary moment, they all jump as one.
But they're all huddled together, and every time they get scared, they're also surrounded by the people who they love most, and who love them most. So when they jump, they bump into their security. No matter what happens onscreen, the children know they're safe, and their family is right there with them. The hands that are reaching out to grab them are reassuring. The more frightening the story--the more the children are aware of their family.
It turned the focus of the image from Norman Bates to Norman Rockwell. I could see the painter's version of the scene, and I now understand why Alicia Dean's children all like horror stories.
Alicia Dean's revealing blog post about her children is at: