The girls and I went to see Wall-E the other day. This is not an accomplishment as I am sure that most children their ages were lined up on opening day. However, it felt like an accomplishment to me. Both of the girls are sensitive to sounds and they don't really like the overwhelming stereo booming of today's movie theaters. They are also highly tuned 'scarey-o-meters' and if anything seems remotely dark or even a little gray, they do not want to have anything to do with it. This is not a position that I argue with because I think it is good for them to fill their heads with ideas other than those of monsters out to destroy the world and the like.
So I was, in fact, quite surprised when I suggested that we spend an afternoon at the movies and they both agreed. The last one we saw was The Waterhorse at Christmas time, and while they enjoyed it, there were enough scary moments where the waterhorse's fate was uncertain that they had said, "No movies," for months. I hadn't even suggested anything until this one came along. And I figured Wall-E was a pretty safe bet.
For the most part I was right. But like all films, there's nothing to rave about unless there is some conflict, no matter how mild, and some level of peril for the protagonist. So when the little robot's fate appeared uncertain, I found myself holding the popcorn tub between my knees and both hands gripped on either side by a girl.
We were happy when all was well in the end. They went off to school and told all their mates about their movie time with mom and continued to parrot the two-toned "voice" of Eve, "Wall-e, Wall-e," with the accompanying increase in volume. I don't know when they might agree to venture with me again into the loud darkness and watch another adventure unfold. Until then, I'll hold onto my own memory of both their little hands gripping mine and smile.
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