This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series begun here. I blame…er, credit… the American Cinematheque for this. Someone has to be held accountable for what’s to come. I mean, what with me taking my now almost sixteen year old daughter to their The Lord of the Rings all-day triple feature at the Aero Theatre tomorrow. And all because she makes it her sworn duty to peruse their monthly calendar movie schedule when it arrives by mail at our house. I know where it started, too.
Kit Kittredge: [very serious]: “Do you swear allegiance to the Treehouse Club?”
Florence Stone: [solemn] I do.
Kit Kittredge: “And if the Ninth Street Club asks you to join their club?”
Florence Stone: “I will laugh in their faces.”
Frances Stone: [whispering] “Florence! You’re *supposed* to say, ‘I will decline’!”
Florence Stone: [very seriously] “Oh. I will decline… and laugh.”
July 6, 2008: With the firstborn, our offspring’s indoctrination to cinema began, to their mother’s chagrin, via animation/live-action movies. Only the “G/PG” variety, insisted my missus. Loaded up on VHS & DVDs, too. When my daughter landed, right before Y2K, thought it’d be more of the same. Famous last words. Divergent she was in that way children are. Case in point, the pre-school experience when I did the pick-up.
Get and buckle him up in the car seat, ask what happened today (“Usual, dad.”) and drive the eight-minute route home in blissful (read “male”) silence. Simple. Decidedly different four years later when the routine repeated with his sister. Acquire child…check. Buckle into car seat…check. Ask about the day…and whoa. Car filled with full life pre-school chronicles, recited in unbridled detail. That’s not all, though. Next came…
“Daddy…dad, I’m talking to YOU!”
Suddenly dawned on the dimwitted. Hadn’t responded in conversation, and I was expected to interact. To say I was not prepared for this level of parenting an understatement. Only used to tight-lipped guys, or grown up women like those I was raised around or living with. Not the voracious female kind, vacuuming in the world all around to complete her understanding of it. And don’t be caught in the middle of that vortex.
Better to get out of the way, if you know what’s good for ‘ya.
By the summer of ’08, same daughter had worn me down to the fact I’d sometimes taken her brother to the movies singly — his four years as an only child went only so far. Situation had to be rectified. Her movie time had come. No sibling, or mom, need apply. We two…and not to be dismissed or forgotten, no siree. She’d pick the movie, something she wanted to see. and though my little girl hadn’t yet turned nine, she added…
“No one-timer either, dad.”
Found out about Kit Kittredge – An American Girl right then. Not a “dad-flick” like those I dragged everyone else to. Nope, and she didn’t want to go see WALL•E yet again. This was going to be hers…ours. Daughter knew where she wanted to go, too. Westwood Village, near her elementary school. After scanning the internet like she grew up using it, “What about the Crest Theatre?”, asked she. Then it finally registered…
This is what it means to be the parent of movie-crazed progeny.