My Movie Date
On Friday night, I took my oldest son, J, to see Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D. This is one of his favorite, FAVORITE movies. He was so thrilled to be going on the night that it opened. Going to a movie with him is so much fun. He loves theaters and everything about them — the popcorn, getting his ticket, buying a coke, and, this time, getting cool 3-D glasses.
So, on Friday, I was anxious about getting to the theater and getting into our seats on time. He likes to see *all* of the movie. And, to him, the movie means all of the previews, and, especially, Clip the mascot of AMC. He just loves that strip of film. We had to park really far from the theater. So he and I held hands and ran through row after row of cars in the parking lot until we got to the entrance. He was so animated and just so happy to be there.
I got him settled in his seat and then went back for the necessary popcorn and Coke. And, as I stood there in line, it struck me how many children J’s age were there with their friends. You know, out, socially at the theater. Wow. The contrast between those children and J was stark. Some of them looked nervous or insecure. I could tell that some were really outgoing and plugged in to the whole scene there. It just hit me that he will probably never care about belonging to a social scene. So, he won’t ever try to impress a girl by being rude to the concession guy. He won’t try to be someone he isn’t just to fit in or be liked — he just isn’t capable of that. I do kind of hate to think of how he will take it when he figures out how different he is. I take that back, I don’t kind of hate it — I really hate it and I dread it, too. Part of me just wishes that he could be oblivious to it all for the rest of his life.
Next time we go to the theater, I will probably try not to hold his hand in the parking lot. I did realize at the time how odd it was for my 11 year old son to be holding my hand. But, part of me loved it, too. Looking at his smiling face as he watched the movie and listening to his voice as he sang along with parts of the songs were the highlights of my week.
Later, as I drove home and we listened to Frog and Toad, I caught occasional glimpses of him in the rearview mirror — 3-D glasses still on his face.
He’s all right. And, when I look around this world and when I look into my own heart, I think that he’s more all right than most.