A Beautiful Planet

Considering the weather, drizzly and cloudy, and the age of my grandson, five rambunctious years old, the dreaded “what do we do today?” hung heavy in the moist and dismal air the morning we sat bored, on the well-worn couch in the living room of my working daughter, as we contemplated the long day ahead.  The overall scene suggested we snuggle under the crumpled blanket, staring mesmerized at the morning’s crazy cartoons, or bake cookies with the impatient helper who was always cheered by the cracking of the eggs, way too hard on the side of the bowl and clumsily rooting out the tiniest shells pieces from the flour mix in the glass bowl with me holding on for dear life lest we soon end down on hands and knees wiping up the cookies from the ceramic flooring.

Before we could think about the possible contra-indications of the proposal, we blurted out, “Do you want to go to the movies?”  Naturally like the normal five-year-old he is, the grandson shouted out a robust “YES!”  Okay, I mused, what is playing at the closest theatre?  Subsequent to an intensive search of the internet for local theatres and age appropriate options, the silence hung heavy in the room…there was nothing even remotely interesting to a kindergartener.  In fact, there was not much for any sane movie goer to spend $18.00 for a reclining chair, especially if you might fall asleep from grandparent babysitting exhaustion anyway.

Anyone who has ever tried to explain to a five-year-old that there is nothing at the movies can imagine the experience of suggesting that maybe we could go to The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum Center in Chantilly, a cavernous collection of aircraft and experiential exhibits.  “But, you said we were going to a movie!”  Aha!!! There is an IMAX Theater there.  In fact, the movie we decided on had 3-D glasses as part of the viewing pleasure we were lucky enough to discover, and popcorn and candy could be purchased which seemed like the treat that tipped the young man’s desire to give it a try.

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We arrived a bit early but purchased the tickets, $7.50, a real deal!  As we waited for the next step, buying the popcorn which could only be done at the time of lining up for admission, we wandered through the top floor, taking in the easy viewing exhibits and avoiding the experiential options which would cause a delay due to the lines and rise length.  At last we queued up and received our 3-D glasses.  “A Beautiful Planet 3D” was fun for all of us but the 3D glasses made the whole event fun for the five-year-old, reaching out to touch the stars, the floating space shuttle equipment, and the liquid droplets.

All in all, it was a great save to the day!

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