Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Movie Day

You know the saying, The days are long but the years are short? I feel as though I am living this out daily. Some days are hard and full of power struggles, random crankiness and boredom. Then there are days when I make a special effort for the boy and he recognizes it as special and thus soaks up every interaction and action. Yesterday was one of those days and I want to remember it always.

The back story: TWO years ago my sisters and I signed up for a summer movie series that lasted most of the summer. We took the kids to kid friendly movies once a week on the cheap. TB was a little too young to understand most of the flicks and they lasted a little too long for his attention span but he seemed to enjoy being there with his cousins and loved having lunch with everyone afterward. We've since moved across town from family and meeting up with them for a morning movie just isn't feasible so I signed him up for the same program only in our own neighborhood this past summer. He refused to go! He remembers the theater as being too loud and too crowded. So we didn't go and I've not pushed the issue since then.

Recently, however, a preview for the movie The Nut Job has caught his attention. He asked if we could go see it and he's had a count down on his calendar for the movie's release date. It opened last Friday but given this was a long holiday weekend I told him we would go on Tuesday because most folks would be back at work and school by then and the theater would be less crowded.

Tuesday morning I rushed us out the door to make the 11 am showing. When I went to purchase tickets the worker informed me it was a 3-D movie. Uh oh. This added unfamiliar element could tip the scales towards "No-way, I don't wanna try it" land for the boy. I canceled our purchase and stepped out of line to have a private conversation with TB. I explained it was a 3-D movie and he'd have to wear glasses in order to see the screen clearly. Did he want to try it or would he rather we see it somewhere else at a different time? He said, "Ok, i will give it a twy (try)," so I stepped back into line and purchased our tickets (Tangent: Dude! $18 for 1 adult and 1 child ticket!! Crazy expensive. And then the SNACKS. Yeesh!). We walked into the theater complex and he started bouncing around, waved to the elderly man who takes the tickets and messed around with an interactive lego movie advertisement. He talked to the concession worker and folks in line around us. He bounced down the hall to theater #2 and commented on everything he saw on the way there.

When we rounded the corner there were only 2 other people in the theater and they picked floor level seating. TB asked if we could sit at the very tippy top and I said sure. He is generally afraid of heights and goes into a flop sweat and mild panic when he has to climb a flight of stairs. He did hesitate and I thought for a second he was going to change his mind or get down on his knees to crawl up but instead he grabbed the side railing with both hands and took huge sideways steps up to the top. I let him pick out our seats and then the fun really started. He'd push his seat down with his hands and then when he'd turn around to sit on it the seat would fold back up. After 3 attempts he finally asked me what was wrong with his seat. I explained he needed to keep some weight on it when he turned around and that it would stay down once he sat on it.

Eventually the lights went down and the previews started. He wanted his snacks and both his thermos of water and the juice box out as he had two cup holders on his seat and they each needed something in them. I gave him a small bowl and put both popcorn and m&ms in it and explained how the perfect combo bite worked. He put on his glasses and settled in. And this is the image I want to always remember: TB sitting in an adult size chair in the darkened theater. His short little legs sticking straight out in front of him and his feet just barely clearing the seat cushion. His feet are wiggling with delight as he stares at the screen ahead of him and shoves a fistful of popcorn in his mouth. He has too big black rimmed glasses on and you can just barely see the tip of his nose peeking out from beneath the nose piece. When the music plays his body involuntarily bounces with the beat. Every once in a while he looks at me to check in and he gives me a big smile then looks back to the screen so as not to miss anything. He looked so small and so adorable and I could see both my baby and the big boy he is trying to become all at the same time. It brought tears to my eyes and pinched my heart. I felt lucky, and blessed and grateful for the chance to be a mama. To be HIS mama.

By the end of the movie he was sitting in my lap asking a thousand questions. He liked the movie and loved the movie experience. As the credits were rolling he asked me when we could see another one. He suggested next Tuesday as it was a work/school day for most people. He's a quick learner. Soooo, I think we may already have plans for next Tuesday. I hear Frozen is pretty good. :)

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