Best Mom Tip #142: Go to the movies

I fell in love with the movies in the summer of 1982 when my mom drove around town picking up my friends to take us all to see ET for my birthday. It was brutally hot (because it was August in Georgia) and I was so excited to be riding in a car with several other kids.

There were not enough seat belts, of course, but that was not a deterrent. We got someone from daycare without my mom being a relative or on the approved “pick up” list. We were allowed to go to the bathroom in pairs, but without an adult. My little girl is about the same age as I was that summer and I cannot see letting her take just a friend to the bathroom at our movie theater.

But in 1982 seat belts weren’t required, if you told the daycare someone else would be picking up your kid it was fine, and being unsupervised for any length of time was allowed if you were with your friends and in a “safe” place.

I cried throughout the entire movie. In the beginning I was scared of the spaceship and the men running through the woods, in the middle I was so sad that ET had died, and at the end, I cried for joy that he was going home. It was the first time I understood the concept of happy tears.

Jay and I saw Super 8 this past weekend and it took me back to the moment when Steven Speilberg and I began an abiding relationship, the depth of which only I am aware. Indiana Jones was my first crush. I was really worried when the Gremlins started to eat after midnight. I wanted to be one of those kids in Goonies.

I got carried away and taken to a place of magic and possibility. I love fantasy and sci-fi, action and adventure, movies where stuff blows up, movies where there’s love and magic, movies where there’s strength and honor, movies about WWII, movies about the future or teen werewolves or boy wizards (although that really is born from a love of books). I do not like horror movies.

After Super 8 I had that same warm fuzzy feeling I got as a kid. The alien really wasn’t that bad and he was going home. Jay and I held hands and I grabbed his arm every time I jumped from a monster appearance. We got popcorn and coke and m&ms.

I know not everyone enjoys movies like I do, but it is important to have those dates where you lean into your spouse, are allowed to snuggle in public, and get to eat chocolate without sharing any with your children.

I can’t wait for our next date night and whatever magic our next movie might hold.

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