When my daughter was younger, we went and saw nearly every kid's movie that came out. Over the years we saw dozens of them. I loved the excitement that this experience elicted from her. It wasn't just the movie itself, but the lead up was part of the fun too. We would make an advance trip to the convenience store to buy some candy and then we would also get insanely large drinks and popcorn at the concession stand. We made sure to buy our tickets early so that we could get to the correct room and get our "usual" seats. We would then have 10 or 15 minutes to play games and be silly before the coming attractions started up. These always seemed to give us something to look forward to. During the movie itself I loved to watch my daughter thrill in the sights and scenes playing out before her eyes. We shared so much laughter and even a few tears. On the way home we would then talk about the characters and our favorite scenes and rate the movie in relation to others that we had recently seen.
However, somewhere along the road to her growing up, our trips to the theater together fell away. Now we have not gone to see a movie in several years. Whenever I suggest that we go see something that comes out, she replies with a "Maybe." I have come to know this is my daughter's code word for "No thanks". I guess that it is not cool to be seen in public with your dad. While this kind of makes me sad, I understand the response. For some reason, this is how nature programs many of us.
The other day, out of the blue, my daughter suggested that we rent a movie at the grocery store kiosk. As we sat on the couch with our snacks enjoying the show, I felt a stirring of the old times when she was younger. I was surprised that this made me smile. Usually it pulls out feelings of melancholy. I then remembered that I kept all of the stubs from the movies that we have seen together in her "memory box" in her bedroom closet. I hope that one day she will go through this box and smile when she stumbles upon all of those old memories.