Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cuddling, comedy and a pocket of peace at the drive in

Last night we went to the drive in movie. We do that a few times a year and I love the family time together. We have a drive-in, the 49-er, about 40 minutes from our house, so it's a long night when we do go - and we usually leave after the first movie, even though admission always covers a double feature. In the summer months, when the sun isn't going down until after 8:30, the first movie may not start until 9:00, then a brief intermission before movie #2 and it's 1 a.m. before you're out the door. So, we usually leave after movie #1 and still don't get home sometimes until Midnight. Just about everyone is sound asleep by the time you get home and you're prodding kids to wake them up or letting them hop on piggy-back to get them to the porch because their shoes are off.

We have a huge conversion van that my husband drives and we take that to the drive in. We back in and open the back doors. We place a couple folding chairs in front and my husband made a special drive in seat out of the bench seat from a car. He welded something onto it so that when we go to the movies he just hooks it onto the hitch and when we get there he unfolds it and we have seating for a one or two more. Then the third row seating is the floor in the back. One person can comfortably stretch out with a pillow and blanket across the width of the van. The fourth tier is the back seat of the van, which folds down into a bed. Three kids can stretch out there on their stomachs to watch the screen. Last night was a bit chilly and by the end of the night almost all of us were snuggle up with blankets inside the van looking out.

The snuggling was the best part. My youngest is 7 and the snuggle time is a rare occurrence these days. Last night he came over and snuggles up to me, pulling my arm around him. I covered us with a blanket. He pressed his head against mine. He reached his hand up to play with my hair as he used to do as a toddler. He tried to run his fingers through it, but by then the wind had it all tangled up. It was just such a nice little trip back in time to when we cuddled often and I was still the center of his world. Even if it just lasted an hour, it was so nice and it was just enough.

Our outings oddly never go smoothly. Seems like so many times we leave the house it is like a Clark Griswold adventure. Last night was chilly. It was also really, really foggy. So foggy that we couldn't make out the people on the screen. It was comical trying to figure out what was going on in the movie with just the sound and blurry blobs on a screen that was at times not even visible. The moisture from the fog left a faint mist on everything so that you felt wet. The kids stepped in every puddle instead of walking around them. The line in the concession area was a mile long. I guess it was a combination of the opening of the season and the opening night for the movie, The Avengers. But all in all, it was a fun experience -- the kind that had me looking around in the middle of it at my own family and feeling like we were in movie of the happiest kind. My hubby was close by and my boys sat next to each other without fighting, sharing candy with each other that they'd purchased with their own money. It felt wonderful. Among all the other craziness in our lives and the days being so busy, this was some much needed downtime -- a small pocket of peace -- and a reminder of what a wonderful life it is.

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