Howard goes to lots of movies, particularly in the summer months. He averages about one per week. This is mostly because Howard loves to see movies, but he also reviews the movies on his blog. When schedules allow, Howard likes to take kids with him to see movies that the thinks they’ll enjoy. Thus it was planned that Howard would take Patch to go see Guardians of the Galaxy, which looked to be a film that Patch would love. They invited Link to go along, but he declined. Kiki and I had a conflict and Gleek is at camp. So it was going to just be Howard and Patch. Then the conflict evaporated, so Kiki and I gleefully bought tickets to join the trip. I was glad to get out of the house and go do a thing.
When Patch found out that we were coming along he was quite sad. He likes us, but suddenly his cool solo trip with Dad had turned into something else entirely. Patch is our youngest. He’s the only one who is still a kid rather than a teen or an adult. Though judging from the way he’s shot up the last few months, that won’t last much longer. He’s headed into sixth grade and I expect this to be kind of a rough year for him emotionally. It’ll be even more rough because he gets his heart set on things and then is honestly hurt if they turn out differently. I could tell that this was one of those times. He tried to be kind and considerate. He understood that Kiki and I hadn’t meant to intrude. He didn’t throw a fit or even get angry, but I could tell that part of what he’d looked forward to was gone from the trip.
We left early for the theater because we had to stop and pick up a prescription. I suggested that Howard drop off Kiki and I to do the pick up. Then he took Patch to McDonalds. We haven’t been eating out much in the past six months, so this was a real treat for Patch. It also gave him a bit of solo time with his Dad. Food and prescription were both picked up, then we headed to the mall where the theater was located. Once again Kiki and I took off, leaving Patch and Howard to eat their food and wander the mall separately. Since we’d bought the tickets in two batches, it was easy to say “See you in the theater.” We actually saw each other before that. We passed in the mall and I caught Patch’s eye for a moment. Then I looked away quickly and used my hand to shield my face, pretending I couldn’t see him at all. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his grin.
So Patch got solo time with his dad. I had some time with Kiki. Then we all had a fun time at the movie and talked about it all the way home. In the end Patch admits that he’s glad Kiki and I came because now he has a sibling with whom he can quote movie lines. I think he’s also glad for that time with his dad, where we all acknowledged that what Patch wanted was important. Also he’ll get to remember all of us pretending not to see each other in the mall. It was a good evening.