Being a mom is the greatest job I have ever imagined, even though it comes with many struggles and sacrifices. Especially when it comes to seeing movies. It was weeks after my son was born before I had the time or energy to watch anything new, and that was when my husband put on Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing at home for me one evening.
I’m finding a new groove when watching movies with my son (and by with, I don’t mean that he is watching, or even facing the television.) I work around his feeding schedule, enjoy the free moments that come with a long nap and pause frequently for his diaper changes and the occasional meltdowns. Getting a long enough stretch of peace to write, is an even bigger challenge.
One weekend in mid June, with my parents visiting, was the first time I had stepped foot into a movie theater since February. Just like with the beer and sushi I hadn’t touched in months, I had forgotten how much I missed a dark, crowded movie theater.
My husband and I saw Maleficent. He graciously and happily gave in to my guilty pleasure over his first choice, Edge of Tomorrow. It was enjoyable but not great, but I didn’t care. Much of the time, my mind wasn’t completely on the movie. I soaked up the beam of light being projected overhead and enveloping the screen, the variety of reactions from the audience around me, even the gross smell of popcorn dissolving in soda coming from the trash cans. I missed it all so much.
In the back of my mind was my baby back home. How were my parents dealing with his usual evening fussiness? Were they feeding him from the right bottles? Did he miss me, or not even notice my absence? I also wondered how he would react in the theater; perhaps with curiosity and wonder for some moments and angry, scared tears at so much noise and darkness.
By the end of our first dinner-and-a-movie date night as parents, I was ready to go home. I missed my son, but was also recharged and so happy to be out on the town. Movie theaters had always been my favorite place in the world, but now it’s a very close second to being with my son.