Last weekend we took the kids to watch The Muppet Movie.
Because I LOVE the Muppets. They’re magical, to me.
The Great Muppet Caper is the very first movie I remember watching. And I LOVED it. Beyond the verbal capability of my five-year old self. That same year, I got a Kermit the Frog doll for my birthday, and I was so happy about it, I cried.
As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about the new movie.
But I didn’t really expect my kids to like it.
My middle kid, Alyssa, is the only one of the three who really likes music, but she doesn’t care for musicals. I found this out when I bought Annie and she didn’t make it halfway through the first number before turning it off. For some reason, she thinks breaking out in song and dance during everyday life is not very realistic.
My little babe Wyatt is five, and not into “people movies.” He does like Sesame Street, though, and with the movie having a similar muppet to people ratio, I held out the most hope for him liking it.
Dylan is my oldest kid, and he’s hardly a kid at all anymore, it seems. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever really been a kid.
He doesn’t look like a kid. At ten-years-old, he’s already 5’5” and his foot is bigger than mine. (And my foot is pretty doggone big. Size 10.)
He doesn’t act like a kid either, never has. He’s very mature for his age. He’d rather be thinking than playing, even when he was very small. He’s all about being concrete and logical. Even I have a hard time seeing him as a kid.
The Muppets, I was certain, required too great a suspension of disbelief for his enjoyment. Humans and Muppets could certainly never coexist in his world. That’s baby stuff. He generally takes issue with the whole song and dance thing, too.
Even though he’s only 10, I expected some full-blown teen angst for making him watch this movie.
At the theater, the five of us settled into our seats with popcorn and M&M’s, and I waited on the realization to set in.
The movie’s first musical number seemed really … long. I wouldn’t take my focus from the screen, refusing to look at the three sets of eyes that I was sure had become accusatory upon the discovery that I had brought them to a musical-people movie-baby show.
Any minute at least one of them would be asking to leave.
But half an hour went by, and no one had said anything. I looked over and from the corner of my eye, I saw Dylan smiling.
The next thing I knew, he was laughing. Out loud.
I was pretty sure I had been transported to another dimension, because he laughed through the whole thing. Heartily.
Wyatt and Alyssa weren’t quite as animated, but they enjoyed it too.
When it was over and we stood up to leave, Dylan hugged his dad, in the middle of the theater — in front of people — and thanked him for the movie.
We left the theater singing Mahna Mahna and we skipped through the middle of the parking lot — in front of more people. True story, and proof that sometimes in everyday life, people really do break out in song; Proof that even very grown up kids are still kids; And, proof that grown up adults can re-visit their childhood.
Dylan climbed in the car and said, “I’m just happy”: proof that Muppets are magical, and not just to me.