His American Side

Just when I think my son is a little carbon copy of his father, that he inherited nothing from me, he trips over his own feet and slams into a wall. I say to myself…ah…there I am.

Going to a movie in New Zealand is a cultural experience for me. Every time. All cultures and societies have their unspoken codes of conducts. New Zealand, not surprisingly, has a quieter code of conduct than….shall we say America.

More than once I have been caught laughing out loud at a high volume which only seemed to echo in the silent theatre of Kiwi’s. My husband had the opposite experience in America. We lived in LA for a time and LA people are serious about their movies and movie watching experiences. Most people knew someone who worked on the film or had a friend of a friend who worked on it. Not only do LA people stay through ALL of the credits, but they also are emotionally invested in the movie they just paid to see experience. Many times I recall my husband saying under his breath, “Why are they clapping? Why are they laughing out loud?” My American gut level honest response was “why are you not?”

So fast forward a few years and I am elated to take my two year old to his first movie. I’m giddy with excitement as I watch joy and happiness spread all over his face at each moment. The cool kids backpack he gets with popcorn and candy. The big seats. The massive screen. The movie he’s been waiting to see. But nothing prepared me for the utter joy I would receive seeing my boy’s American side loud and proud. Numerous times through the movie my son was laughing so incredibly loud and hard he could be heard in the lobby. He giggled his way through the 98 minutes cracking up at every appropriate moment and even laughing when I laughed at the American humour that one would only get if they knew American sub culture.

I sometimes wonder and to be frank feel sad at the fact that my son won’t be as “American” as me. But it’s in there. Deep inside he has a gloriously magnificent loud side which fully experiences movies. And I love it!


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