I like to break up the posts about semi-serious parenting issues with a funny story. Here’s one of my favorites:
When my oldest son was 3 or so I took him to his see his first movie in a theater. I knew he didn’t have the patience to sit through a feature-length film so I took him to downtown Washington, D.C. to the Imax theater at the Natural History museum where the movie running times are only about 25 minutes. To minimize the chances that we’d disturb others, we went to see the first showing of the day at 10:30 in the morning. He loved animals, so we went to see The Elephant Kingdom.
We bought tickets and walked into the entirely empty theater. We got seats halfway up and dead center. My squirmy son couldn’t even sit still for even the few minutes … before the movie started. But because we were all alone, I let him get down off his seat to explore our row. He ran off toward the aisle. When he was about 25 seats away from me, the house lights suddenly dimmed and went out. Then surround sound kicked in. The loud pounding of elephant feet started in the back of the theater and progressed to the front.
Off in the darkness, I heard this tiny, scared child’s voice say “Uh-oh.”
He ran back to our seats and jumped back on my lap. He dug his face dug into my shoulder and watched the rest of the action on the screen out of the corner of his eye, too scared to leave my side lest he get trampled again.