Yesterday was a momentous day for our little boy. It was the first time he sat through an entire movie and actually watched it and was completely absorbed in it.
I suppose this isn’t a big deal for other parents or kids, but for our son, this was significant.
We once took him for another movie screening two years ago, while he was only 2, and we had to leave the cinema just minutes after the movie had commenced.
It was disappointing for us because my husband had specially applied for leave from work for us to go on this cinema trip, and both he and I were really excited for our son because it was a movie about Disney characters that he already liked. We also booked tickets for the screening at the family friendly hall at that cinema.
The reason this happened? We believe it’s mostly because of the large screen images and the loud volume of the audio. Mostly the audio, I think.
My son is mostly a gentle soul, and he is slightly bothered by loud noises and huge visual displays. It is such that when we visit electrical stores and walk pass the TV section, he will hesitate and ask to walk through another route. This is so he can avoid going past multiple TV screens that are blasting varying imagery at louder-than-necessary volumes (which is typical at such shops because they are trying to showcase the merits of each product).
When we are at shopping malls over a weekend and there is some event going on, he will also seem uneasy and eager to be at a comfortable distance or to exit the scene as quickly as possible.
This situation has improved slightly in recent times, especially since he is fed educational content via TV both at preschool and also at Sunday School in church. He has been able to sit through and concentrate on short videos. And at a visit to a friend’s place not so long ago, we witnessed his ability to sit quietly and watch videos and parts of various movies without too much hesitation.
So we figured why not try taking him along for a full fledged movie. We chose a movie that we thought he would like (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) which was being specially screened under an Oscar ’19 themed celebration at TGV Cinemas. It was a movie my husband had wanted to catch when it was first released, but was unable to due to our current family circumstances.
And guess what? It was a huge success. Our son managed to endure all the trailers and ads prior to the movie (something we were also worried about, since we had no idea what they would show and whether it would stress him out even before the movie began), and also enjoyed watching the movie. I even caught him smiling/laughing at one point. 🙂
So it’s a big deal for him. And for me too.
(He did, however, ask to wear his ear muffs throughout the movie, as I guess the loud volume still bothers him a little. But he claims he was still able to hear everything with the thing on, so I guess I should just let that be as long as it helps him enjoy the movie.)
It’s so different being a parent and living through these little life experiences with your child. In many ways, we become so jaded as adults that it feels like a rebirth of sorts to be seeing life through their eyes and doing our level best to cheer them on as they go through growing pains and overcome challenges along their way. It revives your resolve to want to live life more deliberately and fully.
And it makes you dwell, even if just for a little while, on the wonders of small things. Those tiny milestones that perhaps, someday, will mount into something big.
Probably someday I’ll tell my son about his aversion to big screens and loud noises. He might even doubt what I say, unable to fathom how such a trivial thing could have bothered him so much. But I’ll remember these days. Just as I’ll remember how proud I was when he overcame this fear.
Here’s to many more victories in his life both in the present and beyond! 😀