So I was going to tell you about how we went to the movies the other day, but I don’t have very much time so you’re going to have to bear with me through a run on sentence kinda post in which punctuation is merely an afterthought. Ready? Here we go ..
I wanted you to know because it was so out of the blue and Brooke, who has had some pretty rocky experiences with movies in the past and has shown ZERO interest EVER in trying again suddenly ASKED to go to the movies and Oh My God that’s sort of enough in and of itself, you know?
But she really did. On Saturday night when Luau and I were going out, she asked where we were going (yeah, I know, that’s huge too) and we said the movies and she said … “can I come too?” And Oh My God I thought about telling the babysitter to go home and scouring the Interwebz for something animated and G rated and then I realized that we’d already bought our tickets (to Ted, which may be sort of animated but is not remotely G rated) and besides, Saturday night is the worst possible time to try to bring a kid who can’t handle movies to a movie. So I promised her that we’d go during the week one day after camp and well, that’s exactly what we did.
I managed to arrange with my colleagues leaving a few minutes early so that we could make it to that show that’s sort of afternoon but not really and kind of evening but not really because we figured that not really times are probably not really full and that would be our best hope of survival. Are you following this? Cause it sounds OK in my head, but it’s barely English. Anyway, clock’s tickin ..
So we did all kinds of recon and came up with the perfect theater at the perfect time, which it totally turned out to be except for the one Oh My God are you effing kidding me how on earth did I miss this detail – it was a 3D movie. And I called my friend, Alysia from the car after Luau had texted me from the theater to tell me it was 3D and I think I may have said something like, “Oh dear God, A, talk me off the ledge, what the hell have I done?” and she totally did – talk me off the ledge that is and maybe even make me laugh and I was once again grateful for my village.
So after hitting every red light and stopping for every little old lady with a shopping cart and every kid who was going to make me wait just ya know, cause .. to cross the street, I arrived at the theater three minutes into the previews. And there they were. Brooke and Luau, ready to go.
And I thought it was funny cause they sort of looked like hipsters waiting to watch Fellini in some old art house theater and then sit around in a smoky room over espresso and unfiltered camels later discussing his use of light and shadow throughout the film. ‘Cept not.
And for thirty minutes – THIRTY MINUTES – Brooke watched the movie. Like sat and watched the movie. Well, maybe ‘sat’ is a bit grandiose. There was a lot of squirming and lying down and curling up and standing up and cuddling and rocking and scrunching, but I’m taking poetic license and saying that it fell under the umbrella of mostly sitting, so she sat.
And then she didn’t sit anymore. She did a show. Of her own. She ran down to the aisle and performed some kind of gymnastics show there. She bowed at the end and Luau and I clapped. And then she tried a seat at the far end of the aisle for a while. Then another. Then one in the next row back. And while normally this wouldn’t have worked out so well, the cinema gods had smiled on us because WE WERE THE ONLY ONES IN THE THEATER.
Yes, seriously. It was like winning the movie lottery. There was NO ONE else there. No kids talking, no toddlers crying out, no ambient din of voices and crinkling packages and buzzing phones. Nothing but us and the screen. See?
So we let her switch seats. And we let her run the aisle. And we let her dance to the music. And we clapped when she was finished. Because we could. And we were hopeful that she just might make it through this one. She’d done it before after all – twice in fact – both with classmates at birthday parties. It wasn’t that far-fetched.
Except that she’d taken the glasses off and refused to put them back on, so what she was ‘watching’ (more accurately ‘what happened to be playing in the background as she did her own thing in the now theater as play space’ was a blurry, fuzzy, kinda disconcerting version of the movie and no, the metaphor wasn’t lost on me, but yeah, she was done.
So we left the theater and the movie played to no one and Luau said, “I wonder if the animals will get home” and I asked Brooke if she thought they would and she didn’t seem to have the foggiest idea that the animals had been trying to get home in the first place and she asked if we could go buy a Dora DVD that she’s been wanting because Dora shows make sense. They follow a pattern and she can follow them and there’s not this confusing plot line thing that takes an hour to lay out and Jesus, Mama, can we just get something I can watch? And we called the movie store and found out they had it and we drove straight there to get it (and may or may not have also given it to a request for a used Elmo’s World DVD too because it was only $5) and then agreed to have dinner at home over a movie that made sense to our girl.
And Alysia asked me how it went and I said, “It was a solid Not Failure.” And I decided that was enough. More than enough really. There were no tears and no melt downs and no fear. That’s what it was – there was no fear. And the absence of fear may not be success in and of itself, but it sure as hell constitutes Not Failure. And she reminded me of THIS and I had to smile when she said, “What would Al say?
My girl asked to go to the movies.
We lasted nearly an hour all told.
When we left, she said she would try it again sometime.
We went home and had dinner with Dora and Elmo.
Yes, it was a solid Not Failure.
And sometimes, that’s more than enough.