Saturday, November 19, 2005

Life in the V.I.P. Lane

This time yesterday, we were knee-deep into the newest Harry Potter movie, enthralled by the magic-come-to-life unfolding on the screen before us.

We were in the V.I.P. box, living large.

The V.I.P. box at our local theatre is a wonderful thing: 12 seats facing the screen, and behind them a partition that hides a complete little kitchen that has it's own soda pop fountain. Free refills for the popcorn too, but you have to run down the stairs and around the corner to get it.

Twinks has been back in the chair for the last week or so. We'll go again to Hospital City on Monday to get her new braces on Tuesday. She has grown just about an inch in less than two weeks; she didn't just have growing pains, she had growing torture. Nothing helped. She outgrew her current set of braces so fast that she almost can't get them on; they actually now cause more pain than not wearing them.

But, we had this to look forward to. The movie, the V.I.P. box (which we have rented for our own "Premiere" event for every movie now) the dressing-up-in her Hogwarts robes. Twinks braved it through the pain for this. For this long-awaited movie event.

She hated the idea of using the chair at the theatre. She wanted to stalk in, her Time Turner gleaming, her wand flashing, her hair styled as Hermione, and her black robes billowing. Instead, she wheeled in. She rode the lift up the stairs in her chair, and then transferred to a seat. The Wrench, The Twinkie, and I. A handful of invited guests; we only numbered seven. And The Movie. After 25 minutes (!) of previews, reminders to turn off cell phones and take screaming kids to the lobby and did you buy your popcorn? and the digital sound showoff we finally got to The Movie.

It was long, but not long enough. There was so much that they couldn't cram it all in, but we missed huge chunks of the back story. It wasn't just "Reader's Digest Condensed Version", it was like someone decided to try and tell this rich, delicious story that lasts for days... in a fractured 60 seconds or less. The special effects were splendid; the actors (young and old) all gave great performances. But, for me, this movie lacked something, and 24 hours later, I still can't put my finger on what it is.

Maybe it was the absence of so many of the "minor" plot lines. Could it be because we didn't get to see Dobby, one of my favorite Magical Creatures? Was it because whole chunks of the story that become significant later were simply not there? No, perhaps it was because it lacked the sparkle in Twinks eyes.

That's it. For despite the V.I.P. box, and wearing her robes, and even her very special Time Turner, the fact remained that Twinkle just wasn't quite... Twinkle.

I get tired of raging against her pain. I sometimes look at "normal" kids and wish that Twinks could be like them. But for the most part, our little family has tried to accept our "differences" with as much good grace and dignity as we can muster on any given day.

Except yesterday, just for one day, I wish that The Twinkie could have had a happy day. A special day. I wish that she could have had a day off from the pain, so that she could really enjoy this movie.

The V.I.P. box is great. It's nice to watch the movie with that kind of privacy. To see the entire theatre spread out before you, with a completely unobstructed view of the screen. To have an unlimited supply of pop and popcorn. I just wish that it had the magical power to make one little girl feel better.

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