Monday, June 9, 2014
a movie under the moon
One of our favorite summer traditions the last couple of years has been "Movies Under the Moon" held on Friday nights in our sweet little downtown area. Our city gathers everyone around the band shell for some live music entertainment before dark, complete with popcorn and maid-rites and the invitation to bring all your own essential goodies for a night under the sky. And once dark hits and the music stops, the band stage is transformed into a drive-in movie screen, kids settle into mama's and daddy's laps and under sleeping bags and an entire crowd of people settles into a peaceful state of summer night bliss. It's kind of funny, really. The movies shown on these Friday nights are all family friendly and usually old favorites that everyone has seen at least once if not a dozen times before. But this idea of gathering as a community under a moon-lit sky... where it's okay to be in your sweats in public and it's okay if a baby cries in the middle of the movie and it's okay to keep your kids up much past bedtime... it draws us all in. I think it's the whole "village" feeling of it all that makes it so special in its own little way. All these moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas and cousins that share a bond of raising kids through these summer nights... knowing these are the simple kinds of memories and traditions that will stay with us all as the years move fast and forward. And there must be something a little magical about it because Cody has requested we attend every movie this summer... especially when they show American Tale in August! ;)
It just so happens that this past Friday night was the perfect night to kick off a summer of outdoor flicks. The temperature was just right, there wasn't any rain in the forecast and the bugs weren't even a bother! So we packed up our picnic basket and blanket, our sleeping bags and bug spray, our bag of grapes and graham crackers and pack of UNO cards and headed down to the park to watch Toy Story with a few hundred of our favorite neighbors.
We got there a couple of hours before dark because we know from experience that this park fills up fast. It's amazing to me how many people this event draws and gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that our community shows up so well for things like this. We're in a good place.
We spread out our blankets, munched on our snacks, played catch for a while and were entertained by some good musicians. There was the one-man guitar show that everyone loved and the band with two young rocker kids on the mic and drums. (They were Jaden's favorite). And Brandon kept everyone entertained by picking flowers and putting them in our hair... he even stuck one behind Jaden's ear. ;)
I adore them all...
Images of our night...
As the sky got darker, the crowd got thicker until the park was completely full of sleeping bags and strollers and little kids running around playing tag and chasing bugs. Brandon started counting the stars as soon as the first one appeared and Jaden got a little restless waiting for the movie as it got closer to start time. But then they unveiled the giant new movie screen and all was well for the remainder of the night.
We wear our sunglasses at night.