I feel almost silly about how exciting it was to watch Lil O watching her first movie on the big screen. But I have a theory about this.
Walking into the discount movie theater in Springfield I felt like I was walking into a theater for the first time. I was reminded of the Garland theater in Spokane where I grew up. My mom would take us to see $1 movies, and we would always ALWAYS buy the big popcorn. Free refills, y'all. And it all cost about $5 because this was the 1990s and we hadn't all been swindled into $17 diet sodas just yet.
Anyways, the fun of going to see a movie was definitely amplified by the fact that O had never been to a movie theater before, and we were seeing everything through her eyes.
"What are doing here?"
"This is where we buy the tickets. Then we buy the popcorn, then we go see the movie." And all of that is so new and exciting. It's the best!
We slowly walked into the dark theater (we were late on purpose, there was no way she could make it through the whole movie, let alone all the previews on top of it). There was some panic when she did not immediately see Elsa and Ana on the screen.
"Is this Frozen? Mommy that is not--"
"I know honey, but remember we need to be quiet here. Shhh"
Then they played some strange Mickey Mouse cartoon thing that served no purpose. Except that it annoyed Jake with its nonstop violence. Weird.
Ahh...and then it started. O began wiggling in her seat when the opening scene appeared. (She has seen Frozen before, at her daycare on movie day. We learned this when she started singing along to "Let It Go" on our Disney Pandora music channel. Hmmmm, so that's what the kids are into these days.)
By the time the opening song started, she was completely abuzz. Her little fists were balled up next to her face and shaking in excitement. She looked at me, then quickly over to Jake. "Look! Look! This is Frozen!!"
Jake and I could have melted into a gooey puddle. It was so fun.
Sometimes she would lean over to tell us some about some obvious detail. "That's Elsa!" "It's snowing!" And we got way into it too. When the big song started and Jake realized it, he leaned over to tell her, "Hey! Let It Go!!"
Now, I think we can all agree that the American movie-going experience is really some kind of wonderful. It isn't enough that we have the enormous screen and amazing sound effects (O grabbed her ears several times), but we also add the best, most deliciously unhealthy food to the mix. Within minutes, O was grabbing handfuls of popcorn without even looking. She was demanding "more chocolate!" from Jake. She was a monster. An all-American monster.
Eventually the snacks ran out. I even let her have some soda (four sips total, no one freak out!). But it was not enough to keep her attention. She took a lengthy bathroom break with Jake and then the show was almost done. We let her wander around in our row a little, and when she got more and more cranky we were done. They stepped out and I managed to catch the last 3 minutes of adorable Disney ending.
Somehow the whole experience ended with quite a few tears. These things happen, I guess. So much fun and so much candy and so much loud dancing non-stop cartoon princess magic...there is only so much a girl can take. But we will definitely be back.
When you love something, when you really enjoy something --whether it is the music or sports or yes even movies-- it is kind of thrilling to see your child enjoying the same thing. Plus, there is nothing like seeing a "first" happen right in front of you. I loved seeing Olivia light up and scoot to the edge of her seat. Her eyes were so wide open. Her joy was infectious. We couldn't not smile. I hope I never forget it.