Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Everything Works Out Okay in the Movies

It was his first time, and we were very excited!

We had built it up into something big – a rite of passage, something he’d do when he was older, when he was ready.

But unfortunately, it came at a time when things had changed – when similar to airline travel post 9-11, the what if of going to the movies became “please, God, not again.”

The four of us (we were on a double mommy-son date) settled into our seats.  The boys began digging into their popcorn and became mesmerized by the family movie previews.  I kept stealing glances at their bright little faces as they became entranced by the larger-than-life happenings on the big screen.

It was magical watching them -- like my first time as well.    

Then I glanced at the exit doors.

Early into the movie, there was an act of parent-child separation that Mr. R found frightening.  “I want to go home,” he announced.

When I was little I was terrified by the opening scene in Bambi.  I cried and cried and my mother took me home.  This time, however, I was pretty sure Mr. R could tough it out. 

“It’s going to be okay,” I said, pulling him into my lap. “If you get too scared, you can cover your eyes.”

We continued watching the movie, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.  (Sorry to be a spoiler.) We had several more incidents of eye covering, and a requisite sprint to the bathroom.  When things looked particularly bleak, Mr. R re-burrowed himself into my lap. 

“It’s going to be okay,” I repeated.  Then to comfort my child, but also with an awareness of the absurdity of what I was about to say, I whispered, “Everything works out okay at the movies.” 

My heart sank.

We enjoyed the rest of the movie, even staying to watch the majority of the credits.  The boys had a great time.  We mommies realized what a gift it is to take kids to the movies (quiet cuddle time!  Sitting down for almost 2 hours!  Whoo-hoo!), and based on the previews were very much looking to the fall releases. 

Despite his wanting to leave several times, Mr. R happily talked a lot about the movie once we got home.  I was surprised by some of the deeper things he understood, by what struck him and gave him a new sense of the world. 

My little boy has now experienced his first thrill of a movie on the big screen.   He has many more movie theater days and nights in his future.   And even as he becomes more sophisticated in his questioning of, and reactions to, what he sees on screen, for him and for all moviegoers in this country and abroad, may the statement, “Everything always works out at the movies,” always ring true.  


  1. I love taking our boys to the movies. I'm so glad you guys had fun. It really is an amazing experience. I remember my mom taking me to see E.T. and Annie as my 1st movie experiences. I was a little older than our boys, but it was a different era. Ha! We are very fortunate to be able to take our kids to the movies. Hopefully we won't always be glancing at exit signs.

  2. We love to take our oldest to the movies, he turns 5 in Nov. Our youngest is only 1 1/2 so it's still too early for him. (we learned that the hard way, haha). I took my oldest son to watch Toy Story 3 in theaters when it came out and I have to say it was sort of extreme for him when the toys had to go to the incinerator. I also found myself telling him that in movies the good guys always wins. lol. He loves the movies now though, and I love the 2 hours of time where we can just sit, relax, and cuddle without him squirming away from me. They grow up so fast. I will also admit that I always look for the restrooms and then the exit first thing upon entering. LOL
    Glad you enjoyed your time, I love your writing style! It just flows so well!


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