Thursday, July 8, 2010

How the drive-in reignited my love for Disney

When is the last time you saw a movie outside, from the back of your car, or bed of your truck, under a starry summer sky, the sound resonating from car speakers and maybe just a tad bit crackly?

It was Hubby’s idea. I was going to take Graham on a date to Toy Story 3. He’s been so, SO into Toy Story lately and didn’t even realize there was a third installment in movie theaters taking the country by storm. I felt like I was holding out on him, like holding a bouncy red ball over my head, too high for him to reach. But also? He didn’t even know there was a red bouncy ball out of his reach. To be fair, I just HAD to share it with him. And then Hubby discovered it was playing at the drive-in and suggested we make it a family affair.

“Yeah,” I said to Hubby, the light bulb slowly starting to glow in my mind as I tried to picture us at a d-r-i-v-e i-n . “Yeah, let’s go to the drive-in.”

Hubby and I reminisced about the old drive-in in our hometown. I remember being there in my pajamas, in the car, blankie in tow. I don’t remember the movie we saw from the comforts of the car, but rather just being there because it was different. It’s the “different” that we remember.

I think my kids will remember the “different,” too.

We popped popcorn at home first and put it in paper sacks. We filled up lidded cups. We packed peanut butter and crackers in baggies. The boys took baths and pulled on their pajamas. We loaded up the car and didn’t forget Buzz Lightyear and Jessie – so they could see themselves on the big screen under the stars. I grabbed their blankies. They didn’t care as much as I did about the blankie part. It just felt right.

The movie started “at dusk.” We weren’t sure exactly what time that was. There was some mystery to it all… who else a drive-in attracts these days, how exactly it all works once you get there (you park backwards, by the way, and open up the SUV hatch, sit on the back, pull out camping chairs and coolers – much more of a community experience than I remembered), how hot it might be and whether our car battery would die if we sat for two hours with the AC on (which we did not do).

They looked at the speaker-on-a-stick and asked if Woody was inside.

“Daddy, do you want a cold beer?” Reid asked in his loud voice during a quiet part.

“But that’s not HER cowboy, it’s HIS!!” Graham shrieked right at that heart-tugging part when Andy bestowed his beloved Cowboy Woody to the next generation of playmate.

Graham hopped down off the bumper and climbed up in my camping-chair lap to give me a big hug right at the point that Andy was playing with his pals for one. last. time. He’s not old enough to get emotional, but I think he knew there was something special about that part. Something… different. That boy has quite the intuition.

Did the drive-in reignite my love for Disney? Or did Disney re-ignite my love for the drive-in?

Maybe a little of both. It was different. It was awesome.


Our European adventure... said...

That would have been so much fun! Good idea! I don't think they have those here in Germany! We went at the post 15 minutes away because our theatre didn't have it. I was in the bathroom at the end with Mallory because she had WAY too much popcorn and had a tummy ache (i will spare you the details). Next time I told Billy they don't need a whole small bag of popcorn each! Live and learn. Man, too bad we weren't closer. Mallory and Brayden LOVE Toy Story. They quote things from the movie! Can't wait to see their faces when we go on the cruise! They have a Toy Story musical on the boat. It is going to be so much fun!

Sis said...

I remember going to the drive-in, too! Did we see Tootsie?? What drive-in did you go to? That sounds awesome.