Wednesday, August 10, 2011


We never go to the movies.
An even more acurate statement might be that we, as a family of six, have never been to the movies.
You can imagine the reasons why.
All logical paths to the conclusion that the movies are just not in the cards for us.
It’s better just to stay home and contain the madness. Save the money.
It all made sense until a couple weeks ago I read that an area drive-in would be premiering Cars 2. Since the first Cars movie is an all-time Oehlschlager favorite, my mind began to churn.
“Maybe it would be fun if we ALL went to the drive-in!
Surely we could handle all the kids. It will be dark. They will sleep. The weather is going to be great...”
So, I convinced Matt that this a great idea. The kids needed no convincing. They were stoked! To say the least.
I popped popcorn to fill a giant paper grocery sack (just like Mom said Grandma Rosie used to do), and I stacked blankets and pillows higher than we could carry in one trip.
The excitement pulsed in the air. Smiles across the board.
The seemingly multiple-mile long line to get into the drive-in did nothing but boil the waters of excitement.
We eventually parked into the very back row. All the way in the corner. Movie screen barely visible.
At least an hour before showtime.
Soon the popcorn ran out.
The drinks were drained and turned into trips to the bathroom.
The bedtime hour arrived and the children’s patience left.
No one was happy with their “cozy spot.”
She’s touching me!
I’m hungry!
I have to go the bathroom!
I can’t find my shoe!
My wishful memory making trip was having a head-on collision with the reality of taking four young children to a crowded drive-in with little to no escape.
Mae (our 3 year old who is not capable of whispering), who also goes into super-sonic hyperactive drive when tired, transformed into a bundle of uncontrollable energy.
The movie began a little while after 9 p.m.
This didn’t stop Mae, who did everything EXCEPT watch the feature film.
He talked to our “neighbors,” “mowed the grass” and “pulled up thistles.”
And, true to form, he snuck in a few bathroom breaks. NOT where they were intended. Thankfully, the dark saved us.
Meanwhile, the other three had semi-settled down and we eventually quieted the fourth with about a half hour left in the show.
Not even 20 seconds later snores sang out from the Suburban, and Matt and I enjoyed the final moments of the movie in peace.
Don’t ask me how the movie was, because I honestly can’t say.
I did more chasing, refereeing and threatening than I did watching.
And despite the fact that the drive-in was (compared to my fantasy trip) less than perfect, my kids had a great time.
That’s all they could talk about the next day.
Then it hit me. My perspective was too tall. Too adult. Too much to ask of them.
Their lives have only been spent together. They know nothing else.
Quiet. Peace. No disagreements. Those are all foreign.
All of the “reasons” that made this trip less than my ideal are attributes to their age and factor into our daily life.
How could I expect that that would change because we paid $20 to sit in the back of a field surrounded by strangers?
When I look at the evening that way, we couldn’t have had a better time.
Memories were made. We smiled, we laughed, some cried.
But most importantly, we survived!

No comments:

Post a Comment