That’s When I Had a Moment.

On “Take Your Child to Work Day,” Shane went to work with his dad. Conveniently and somewhat coincidentally, Dylan was also out of school. So I decided to take the boys to see a movie.

At 2:15 on a weekday, we had the place to ourselves. “These are the best seats,” Dylan said, leading us to the middle of a row about ten rows from the back.

“We got here before the commercials!” Shane exclaimed, thrilled with our good fortune. The kids sat for about two minutes, then Dylan got up and went to the front of the theater.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen,” he said, standing on a pseudo-stage.

“Sing the National Anthem!” I bellowed from our seats in the back. Dylan made some lame excuse about not being able to sing, and was still yell-talking to us when the commercials started.

Within minutes, Dylan was doing shadow puppets on the screen. He’d gone to the back of the room and was creating some pretty convincing animals. Shane went back to join him, sitting on Dylan’s shoulders, making some shadow puppets of his own. Mostly I just saw the shadows of two heads and listened to the laughter.

They sat for the trailers – sometimes – and just before the movie began, Shane’s favorite part – the Regal Cinemas’ roller coaster ride – started. Before the launch, the kids raced down to the “stage” area and sat on the wall in front of the screen.

That’s when I had a moment.

It was the kind of moment I try to have often, but have less than I would like – where I am able to take a mental photograph. It was a moment when I could appreciate the incredible joy in my life, feel nothing but joy in my life, and not jump straight to worry because it’s so beautiful, I am overwhelmed by it.

It’s the kind of moment that gives my life real meaning.

I captured that moment in time, using only my memory, and was able to fully enjoy that on-screen roller coaster ride almost as much as the kids did.

The boys leaned and swayed as the coaster made its turns. And when it reached the giant popcorn kernel, Dylan “fell” off the wall, as if the popcorn had knocked him off. In the dark theater, he seemed to just disappear, making me laugh out loud. Then he jumped back onto the wall, and they “rode” to the end.

Dylan and Shane raced back up to their seats as the movie was starting, laughing and excited.

Then, the moment was over – for them. But that moment will last, for me, forever.

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