As I've mentioned before, I'm a bit of a movie buff. Probably less so now; either because there aren't many good ones or because I don't have time to watch too many (unlike my lovely brother-in-law who sees at least three movies at the cinema every week).
I was working at the cinema when Sam was born. Of course, being a casual employee in the private sector I didn't get paid maternity leave (actually I missed the boat on that one with both kids, but that's a story for another day), and I went back to work when he was 3 months old. That's ok because Anthony decided to start a home business and do all the dad stuff.
The great thing about working there though, was the free (and later after a big corporation took over, cheap) movies. We went to the movies a lot!
The first movie I remember taking Sam to was 'Austin Powers'. He would have been under 2, but I wanted to see it and I figured that if he got restless I could just leave, it wouldn't cost me anything.
As it turned out, I didn't have to worry. I had to take out him for a little settle when it it got noisy, but apart from that he was fine.
So from then on, we went to lots of movies. Sometimes just me and Sam, sometimes him and his dad while I was working, sometimes all three of us. He got very good at the routine very quickly. He was great at sitting still, and as he was fairly mature, able to sit through movies most kids his age would squirm through. Not that we let him watch movies that were too unsuitable. There were movies meant for older people than he, but he could generally follow what was going on, and totally understood the difference between fact and fiction, special effects and reality.
Oliver's the same. He can sit through movies (and TV shows) that other kids find scary or don't understand, but he does. He doesn't worry about scary stuff, because he's very clear about the whole 'it's just a movie' thing (we saw Harry Potter 7 (.1) last night and there was a bit where everyone in the cinema seemed to jump, but he didn't even flinch).
Needless to say, Sam grew up loving movies too. By the time he was 12/13, he was going quite often with his friends, but he still went with us too.
I loved having someone to talk to about movies, and actors, and he was also the one who would watch movies with me that Anthony didn't want to watch, like Slumdog Millionaire. We watched that together one night and he was very moved by it. He hadn't really seen much of what other cultures are like (my fault I guess, I hadn't really exposed him to much outside our own little city). I remember we had a great conversation about it afterwards.
Sam also liked the kinds of movies that Anthony likes: b grade and violent. Although, he would tend to groan about how dumb they were while secretly enjoying them. They often went to the movies together, Anthony enjoyed having someone with him who wouldn't cringe or complain about how stupid the movie was (well, much, anyway!)
The last movie we saw with Sam (at the movies) was 2012 (I think, though it could also have been Surrogates, the memories are a little blurred there). It was nothing out of the ordinary, I wish I could hold that memory a little closer, but I can't. It was something we did so many times, the same way each time. It wasn't special, it was just something we did as a family. I didn't think then that I'd want to badly to remember every little detail.
Actually, of all the 'moments' this year, when I've had a twinge of sadness about Sam, or when I've really missed him, many of them have been movie related.
First there was last Christmas. I had bought him 'Year One' on DVD, which he said was hilarious (we watched it some time this year, it wasn't). I often bought him DVDs for Christmas, so last year wasn't; any different. I was hard seeing that familiar shaped package sitting with all his other unopened presents.
About 3 weeks after Sam died, Anthony, Oliver and I went and saw Avatar. Movie-wise, it was OK: the same story I've seen in a million movies, and very impressive graphics. But it was beautiful too, lovely creatures and colours etc. I think Samuel would have loved it - it was an interesting mix of action and story and I remember at one stage crying because I realised that he'd never get to see it.
And I've done that a few other times this year. When we saw How to Train Your Dragon, the final Harry Potter; Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2, even Toy Story 3; I cried because I knew Sam would have loved it. He had loved the first Iron Man and all the other Toy Story movies (he was really little around the time of the first Toy Story movie, so he was the target audience. He probably wouldn't have admitted to liking them any more, but I knew he had wanted to see it).
It's funny, with all those times I couldn't cry, a movie could generally set me off. A lot of it is knowing he would have loved it and will never see it, but it's also all the movie watching we still had to do together, and all the conversations that went with them.
I'll miss that.