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Aug 15, 2010

The Magic of Movies

On Sunday, we introduced Sam and Lena to one of our favorite pastimes in one of our favorite places – a big screen movie at a movie theater.

We’ve wanted to take Sam to see his first movie for a long time, but just could never make it happen. We’re not big on handing the kids over to a sitter when we don’t have to; we get such little time with them as it is.

And now that Lena is nearly one, we figured we’d give it a shot. I’m so glad we did.

Toy Story 3 was the movie. What a great first movie for them, with lots of innocence, laughs, thrills, action and a lovely sentiment. It was an hour and 40 minutes, though, which worried us. But they were both good as gold.

We got our concessions and headed into the theater 10 minutes early, which was enough time to get them accustomed to the theater and screen and shove hot dogs and popcorn into their mouths while it was still light enough to see what we were doing. My fingers were ten greasy messes after tearing all the food into one year old bite sized pieces, but Lena loved it all, so I didn’t mind. After all, isn’t that why God invented wet wipes?

Then the lights dimmed and the trailers started. Sam was still munching popcorn and climbed into Daddy’s lap with his diapy and his favorite sucking thumb. And there he stayed through the whole movie, never making a peep or a move. Rich thought he’d fallen asleep he was so still, but his eyes were as big as saucers through the whole thing. He might have even forgotten to blink.

Lena bounced up and down in my lap every time music played but, when the movie began, she was still and serious, like she knew something good was about to happen. She became her normal wiggle worm self after about 45 minutes, but never did much more than that. I let her crawl around the large carpeted area beside us in the back for about 5 minutes, which seemed to pacify her need to move. And then she was still again, all the way to the end.

I’m passionate about movies and books. I believe that the best of books and movies give us hope when all sometimes seems lost, allow us to glimpse into people’s lives we would never meet without them, introduce us to worlds beyond our own imaginations, inspire us to be better, chill us to the bone, thrill us until our muscles are weak from the tension, double us over in fits of laughter, break our hearts…

Books and movies are magic, moving mediums. And giving my kids the opportunity to read and watch them is important to me, because I know that I’m helping to cultivate their imaginations. As a parent, that’s an unparalleled gift to offer a child, and I’m so grateful to be in a place where we are able to give that to them.

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