Today, we took Eli to the movie theater for the very first time. He loved watching the first Monsters, Inc movie at home, so we took him to see the new one, Monsters University. And yes, this does contain some spoilers.
For several days, Eli was really excited about "going to see the monsters on the really big TV, and having popcorn, and Sprite, and going with Grandma, Grandpa, Oma, and Appa."
I was a little worried that Eli would get fidgety or loud, or that he might find the theater overwhelming. But, he is so good when we watch movies at home, I knew there was a 99 percent chance all would be well.
The things I learn about my child when we do something new.
First, Eli loved the movie. Loved it. He was still sneaking up on us (well, sort of), and making "monster growls" hours later. And asking for more candy and popcorn. And asking if we could have a really big TV like the one in the theater.
BUT...he did cry twice during the movie.
He surprised me both times.
Now, I was a little worried when I saw some of the characters...some were intimidating, and other children in the theater were frightened by them. They were not a problem for Eli. Neither were the loud noises, scary growls, etc. he loved those parts.
Near the end, the hat worn by Mike (the green monster) is damaged. Mike loved that hat. Eli cried. And asked me several times about Mike's hat. He was able to stop crying when I suggested that they might fix Mike's hat or get him another one, and when I pointed out that Mike was okay.
Even closer to the end, it becomes apparent that Mike and Sully (the two main characters...er monsters) are going to part ways. Eli. Melted. Down. I mean, true, sad, heart wrenching sobs. He could not stand the thought of them being apart. Some of this, I know, goes back to his fear of losing those close to him (he has a lot of very real anxiety about this)...but I didn't make the connection until Eli's grandma reminded me. At the time, all I could do was soothe him, and try to help him understand that the movie would have a happy ending, if he could stick it out.
He did stop crying long enough to watch the rest of the movie, and the end did make him happier. He did ask about the part that made him cry several times, and we explained the plot to him until he was satisfied.
Later, we had more tears, though.
We were picking blackberries at his grandparents' house. Eli, very proud to have helped pick a gallon or so of berries, went to show his grandp the berries, only to trip over a rock and fall down. When he began to cry, I rushed to pick him up, thinking he was hurt. He did have a scraped knee, but he did not care....he was crying because he spilled the berries! Poor buddy. He is as tough as nails in most respects, but very sensitive in others. I love that he is so empathetic to others, and that he has so much inner strength. It makes me very proud of him.