I am glad my kids are at the age where going to the movies is a fully enjoyable experience.


Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed taking them to movies when they were younger. But to say that it was fully enjoyable would be, well, a lie. Taking a small child to a movie is like taking a small monkey to a movie, only one with a much a smaller bladder.


But as my kids have gotten older, they have learned to at least pretend to be domesticated and, apparently, have grown larger bladders.


I’m also pleased that my kids are at the age I can take them to super awesome cool movies. Granted, I still love some Pixar movies and such. But when you can take both of your kids to see “The Avengers” and they both are cheering the movie on, you’re in the zone. I commented to a friend that I was so thrilled I could now take my kids to action movies and on roller coasters, and he commented, “You didn’t want kids. You wanted friends.” I only partially resent that comment.


My most recent movie sojourn was with my wife and son, to see “Monsters U.” Our daughter had not eaten her vegetables the night before, so we made her wait in the car. Either that or she was at her grandparents’ house in Florida. Can’t recall.


Anywho, it’s a plenty enjoyable movie, with Pixar channeling some “Revenge of the Nerds” and “Stripes.” My son loved it, though, which is the most important thing. Some things I noted about movie watching now that my kids are a bit older:


• Even with the larger bladder, nature still calls. And not having to escort your child to the bathroom is one of life’s great milestones. There is no better feeling than having someone say, “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom” and being able to respond, “So go.”


• I like popcorn and a Coke with my movie. They now offer humus. Seriously. My son loves humus. I did not let him know they offer humus, as I did not want humus and cracker time during the movie. Stick with the tried and true.


• I will always feel empathy for the parents who are trying their level best to take a small child to a movie, and the child would rather, say, begin reciting the ABCs in the middle of the show. Been there, fellow patron. Been there. And extras kudos to the parent who, in the middle of the show, swoops the kid up and heads up the aisle, out the door to the lobby, quietly whispering, “h i j k l m n o p…”


• You get a free refill on a large popcorn, but only one. When you go get a refill, they mark the bottom of your bucket with an X. I would like to meet the man who tried to go through more than two of those things. Halfway through the second bucket, I was in serious popcorn regret mode.


• When we arrived at the theater, there was a rather sizable line. While in line, I hopped on my phone and ordered tickets through the Fandango app. We then were directed inside to go and wait at another window, one that was manned by someone also selling tickets to the folks in line. When we finally got our tickets, we entered the theater lobby. We were now behind the folks who were standing behind us in line previously, and had bought their tickets the old fashioned way. Methinks this process needs to be reassessed.


• I have always stayed until the very end of the credits, something my dad instilled in me. When we were kids, my dad would tell us to read the credits to find interesting names or job titles. In “Monsters U,” we noticed a human resources person named “Allison Parker.” My son found this awesome because that is his and his sister’s names. Additionally, nowadays, movies often have “stingers,” one of those final clips at the end of the credits. We were not disappointed (unlike everyone else who was at the movie, all of whom who left). To that point, if the folks waiting to clean the theater could hold off, that would be superb. I just dropped $40 for a matinee. I’m gonna go ahead and consume all the movie I can.


Movies were always a cool part of my life as a kid, and I’m glad I get to share them with mine. I hope one day they will be taking their kids to enjoy the thrill of the cinema. And, of course, stay to the very end.


Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he can be reached at mwg1234@yahoo.com.