Cruz First Trip to the Silver Screen
I'm a sucker for the big screen. It's my idea of a perfect date night --- a blustery cold evening or Sunday afternoon, preferably with rain, wind, and an easy reason to wear sweaters and boot socks, hiding out in a cozy theater with a tub of popcorn, and snuggling up with my sweetheart for two plus hours of escape to a new world.
I love the movies for so many reasons, but most of all for their magic. In the comfort of a simple movie seat, I've traveled to the towers of Hogwarts, and walked the streets of District 12 in the country of Panem. I've stood with outstretched arms at the bow of the Titanic at sunset, and literally stepped into my subconcious with the help of Dominick Cobb. I've traveled the world in the comfort of a movie seat, and to me, these experiences are worth the $8 movie ticket.
The cold, blustery, and rainy weather on Sunday swept Beau, Cruz, and I out of our living room and into the theater for Cruz's first silver screen experience. We chose 'Wreck-It Ralph', and were more than ready for whatever we were gonna get. We weren't sure if he'd be scared, or make it through the entire thing, or not want to stay in his seat, and went in knowing we may not make it through the entire film. To say we went in without expectations was an understatement; what we got was even cuter than I could have dreamed.
Cruz LOVED his first movie experience. He knew just what to do with his kid's sized popcorn and lemonade, and didn't bat an eye when his chair folded up on him because he wasn't quite big enough to keep it in place. He sat on my lap quietly, munched his popcorn, and occasionally responded with a quiet 'oooh,' or 'whoa.' The previews hadn't even started, and our boy seemed to fully grasp the nature of his new environment.
Soon, the previews commenced and one of the most magical shots in the whole world found its way on the screen. The crescendo'ed music, the magnificent white castle, and the fireworks exploding in the sky proved to be too much for Cruz to keep to himself. With eyes lit up like a circus, he exclaimed a very passionate 'Yea!' that sent the entire theater into a chorus of laughter.
As the lights dimmed to darkness and the volume reached its height, Cruz settled into his seat and watched the entire movie with what I only can describe as childlike wonder and amazement. He laughed when he heard other kids laugh, cheered when Ralph scored his gold medal in the hero's duty, and every now and then turned his head to make sure his mom and dad were still experiencing this magnitude with him. A few times, he even reached up and touched my hair, as if the familiarity was a comfort to him in this new and exciting place.
The most surprising part of the movie, however, happened when Ralph sacrificed his friendship with Vanellope in order to protect her from the evil King Candy. And just as Vanellope pleaded with Ralph to not destroy her racing car, Cruz had had too much. He buried his face into my chest and sobbed. In complete surprise, we consoled our sensitive one and kept telling him to keep watching and that it would all be better soon. We would have never guessed he would have been able to pick up on the different emotions of the characters like that, but he responded just as he should have. Well, maybe more than he should have ;).
During more parts of the movie when it wasn't looking too good for Ralph, I would look over to see Cruz with the sweetest frown on his face, trying his hardest not to cry, and for a moment, I second-guessed our decision to bring him to the movies. But, as all good Disney movies come to an end with upbeat music and a very fitting 'happily ever after,' Cruz was overjoyed with applause at the end. He said goodbye to the screen all the way out the door, and at one point, I caught him blowing kisses to the credits.
Beau and I had no idea how Cruz would respond to the movie theater, but after yesterday, I have a feeling we'll make the Sunday matinee a frequent part of our weekend plans. We both found ourselves laughing and smiling at our little boy's unrehearsed reactions, and both realized it's now time to watch what we say and watch around him.