I promised you 140 posts about parenting and today I offer one more. I can’t even remember the count right now. Many times, I talk about problems and how to discipline offspring and keep them out of trouble, but I would rather discuss ways to have fun. When I was a child, things were different. I couldn’t wait for the weekend so we could all pack in the family car and go to the local drive-in. The venue specialized in kiddie flicks on Sundays. They always included Tom and Jerry and Mr. Magoo cartoons. My favorite was Bugs Bunny. We ate the sparse fare at the snack bar which was mostly hamburgers, hot dogs, cokes, and popcorn. But what kid doesn’t like that? Sometimes we brought our own food but then seldom ate it. We just wanted to get out of the car and see what the other kids were doing.
When my family moved to a neighborhood that had no drive-in theater, I became nostalgic. How would my young ones experience what I had once loved? They would never know the special moments of seeing a giant King Kong or T-Rex. I vowed to find a way to recreate the feeling I had when pulling into our parking space. When I get an idea in my head, I go with it. I could drive to another town but the children would probably be asleep by the time we got there. They find long jaunts to be very boring unless I let them blast the radio. To appease my wife and not render her deaf, I don’t go that route. There is another way to be sure.
Eureka! It came to me in a flash. I would bring the drive-in to them right in the confines of our own backyard. It is rather large and can accommodate our brood and a couple of neighbors sitting on blankets watching a huge outdoor screen. You can buy or rent them in any size you like. I say the bigger, the better. I invited some favorite families in the area and explained the protocol. Bring a thermos and a blanket or towel. I installed some good speakers that could be adjusted to the perfect volume without annoying anyone nearby who was not invited (like that old grouch across the street). The last item on my agenda was to rent an outdoor projector and buy a movie they all would like. I got the idea from here: https://www.outdoorlightandsound.com/installation-ideas-new-outdoor-projector/. My wife whipped up some of her popular chocolate chip cookies and easy microwave popcorn. We were ready to begin.
Everyone had the most wonderful time. Apparently, all the adults felt the same way that I did. They made me promise to recreate the drive-in theater again. A few even volunteered to do it themselves to share the load. But it was no burden to me. I was responsible for a night of pure enjoyment. I would happily do it again.