This past weekend, Nicole, Kyle and myself went to the movies. The movie of choice? TAKEN 3. Was it good? Being a Liam Neeson fan, in my eyes, he could never do no wrong. But seriously, it was a good movie!
Spoiler alert! At the end of the movie, while Liam Neeson was fighting the bad guy in a shootout, the vilian was running around in his underwear. Yep, his “tighty whities” (briefs). Kyle was sitting beside me cracking up, knowing I would never be caught running around anywhere, in my undergarments. Please note, Kyle is not shy about sitting around the house in his underwear, not in the slightest. In fact, that’s his preference. During this fight scene, yes a fight scene with a man in his underwear, I kept saying, “I can’t believe he’s in his underwear, in the middle of a shootout!” Kyle was cracking up! I commented, “I would never be caught dead (pun intended) running around in my underwear.” Kyle’s response? “But if you’re already dead, who cares?” Too funny! “Yeah, I’d still want someone to cover me up!” Kyle thought that was such a funny response, he was giggling the entire way up until the end.
We had dinner at the movie theater, which serves sandwiches and such. Kyle’s stable? He always eats the Miss Piggy (pulled pork sandwich), plus other items such as a soft pretzel, ice-cream, popcorn etc. It’s not always a junk food fest, but sometimes that does turn into the case.
On a side note, Kyle continues with this behavior that he won’t eat anything until the movie starts. I’ve mentioned it time and time again, but it still amazes me. Especially, on Saturday, when he was truly hungry. Nope, he would not touch a thing until the movie started. Can you say Rain Man?
While waiting (not so patiently) for our movie to begin, I was reminded of the first time I took Kyle to the cinema. Yes, I introduced him to the world of big screen pictures. How old was he? He was definitely walking, I’m guessing around three or four years old. I know, he was a bit young to be attending the movies, but I knew he’d love it, and have a great time. It’s true, I was worried his attention span would pucker-out mid movie, but then I was prepared to leave if needed. What movie did we see? Honestly, I can’t remember. Originally, I thought it was a Winnie the Pooh movie, but Nicole corrected me saying she took him to that one. I’m guessing it was The Incredibles, after all, a year later, I made us The Incredibles costumes for Halloween. It could have been The Polar Express, Shrek, or Finding Nemo. All great movies, all Kyle’s favorites at the time, and all seen in the theater.
Whatever movie we saw, I took Kyle to Carmike Cinema 15 in Greensburg. It’s not a huge theater compared to those in the D.C. Metro area, or even the Lowe’s Theater in Pittsburgh, but nice enough. Upon entering the doors, Kyle was mesmerized. We went mid-day on a Saturday, only because it was an ugly day out. There wasn’t a line, so I ducked under the velvet rope, to get to the ticket window quicker. What did Mr. Play-it-by-the-rules do? He walked the entire length of the roped off area. I waited for him to finish his trek before getting our tickets. I remember, Kyle stated his age to the young person working behind the window. Why? Rules! He wanted to clarify he was a child. Again, what a cutie!
Once we walked around the ticket window area, Kyle’s olfactory nerves picked up on the smell of popcorn. His eyes were wide from the lights and the colorful interior, and his mouth watered from the smell of butter and popcorn and candy. Did I get him a bag of popcorn? You bet I did! I wanted him to have the full movie experience. And you know, he never waited for the movie to start to dig into the buttery bag. That has been a recent event as of the last couple of years.
Kyle held my hand while we watched the monitor in the lobby, waiting for our theater to open. Back then, Kyle was always attached to me by the fingers. I’m not sure when that era ended, but it wasn’t for many years later. Thank goodness!
While standing in the lobby, Kyle intently examined his surroundings and took it all in. I could tell he was a bit overwhelmed, but not in a bad way, just in a “something very new” way. As we proceeded back the large carpeted hallway, looking for our door, still hand-in-hand, Kyle looked up and simply said, “Umm this is nice, Aiya (Aunt Heather).” I was cracking up! Believe it or not, I bet I had a better time watching his facial expressions and listening to his comments, than he did with the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, still remembering it to this day (except the movie we watched). On our journey back the hallway, Kyle examined the life size posters and standup advertisements for future and present movies. He pointed and smiled, especially with recognizable characters.
Upon entering the theater, Kyle’s eyes practically shot out of his head with excitement! Sporting a huge grin, he pointed and proclaimed, “Loot (look) Aiya (Aunt Heather), loot at that big TV!” That hooked him! He was all smiles, and so excited for this new experience. Little did I know, this single outing would become one of our shared interests, even presently.
During most of the movie, Kyle sat in my lap, especially after the lights dimmed to a dark room. I didn’t mind, it was nice to cuddle with him, and I never missed a reaction. ALL THE WAY THROUGH the movie, he added his own commentary, talking at full volume, a trait that still holds true today. I tried to get him to use his “inside voice”, but that was futile during actions scenes. Kyle also kept asking questions about the movie, while watching it, another trait that holds true today. Sometimes, he stood up, sometimes he retreated to his own seat or my lap. It seemed like the musical chairs helped him stay focused.
Can you tell I paid more attention to Kyle, than I did to the showing? Hence, the reason I truly can’t remember what we saw that day, the one that changed Kyle’s life forever. (It’s really bothering me!)
Kyle had such a great day! I equally did as well. On the way home, we called my sister, who lived in Arizona at the time. Kyle talked her ear off about his adventure. I know Nicole couldn’t really make out what he was saying, but she shared in his enthusiasm.
It was after that, that Kyle started to take notice of new movies coming out. He would request to see certain feature films. It also didn’t take him long to realize that he was prohibited from watching rated “R” movies. How do I know? He would tell me he wasn’t allowed to watch those movies. My Kyle, always playing it by the rules and never wanting to get in trouble. Later on, I did take him to see “PG-13” movies before he was thirteen, but he also knew he was allowed since I was accompanying him. Kyle is all about the details. Perhaps, one day, I’ll tell our movie experience with Avatar in the theater.
Together, we’ve seen so many movies thus far, I couldn’t even begin to count. Some were in the theater, and some at the drive-in. My sister also adopted this form of entertainment, especially on “Aunt Nikki and Kyle’s Week of Fun.” It’s a fun way to spend time together, as long as the picture of choice is age appropriate.
As a kid, I too loved the movies. However, back then, it was more a luxury item, than a rainy day staple. The Latrobe movie theater, the very one we take Kyle to, is the same one I went as a kid. Back then there were other movie theaters at Gee Bees, Greengate Mall, and at Westmoreland mall, but we rarely went up the highway. Times have changed, but the love of movies has always remained!