Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recalling Our First Movie Theater Experience

The other day I mentioned that we watched Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! on dvd. What I did not mention was that Horton was the first movie we had taken Kai to see in a theater.

Kai was only four years old at the time and his attention span was really short. He could not stay still for long and he was prone to getting upset and loud quite often. We knew it was risky to go to a theater. But my wife, especially, wanted to give Kai the experience that other kids have.

There wasn’t much of a selection of kids’ movies playing at the time. Horton was really the only choice. (This is the full-length animated version featuring the voices of Jim Carey, Steve Carell and Carol Burnett.)

We got to the theater and purchased a big tub of popcorn. We knew that as long as we had popcorn, there was a chance that Kai would be content and watch the film nicely.

Although we did not get to the theater much before the published start time, with all the commercials and previews, we sat for about half an hour before the movie started. And in that time, Kai had had his fill of popcorn.

Just as the movie was to begin, he said that he was “all done,” which was how he told us that he wanted to go home back then.

I really did not want to leave without seeing any of the movie. So I urged Kai to be sit and watch. I was hoping that once he saw the beginning of the film, he would be hooked.

Well, that did not happen. The story started off slowly. He had no interest in it. And within ten minutes he was again saying he was “all done,” except this time he was much more adamant and loud. And so we left, and never saw the rest of the movie – until the other night.

When we watched it this time, Kai was hooked from the beginning, and engaged throughout. He even liked it well enough to watch his favorite parts a few more times over the past couple of days.

One of the heroes of the Horton story is Jojo, a young boy who does not speak until the end, when he saves Whoville from destruction by yelling “YOPP!” from the highest tower.

Jojo’s evolution reminds me a bit of how much Kai has changed over the past four years. In Kai’s case, the changes have happened gradually, and so we sometimes do not take note of them. But when we take a step back and compare, like with this experience of watching this movie, we see that his progress is akin to Jojo's yelling “YOPP!”

And that makes me smile as much as the movie’s happy ending did.


  1. That is the way to look at proper perspective. It is in the long term in which true progress is measured.

    1. Sometimes, in the midst of the day-to-day challenges, it is good to take a step back and see the progress that has been made.


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