Deb dropped us off at the door. We waded through the crowd waiting to see the new Twilight--I literally had to break a path through the Twilight line to get my folks into the right theatre. By the time we got into the room, Dad was a little dazed. And we still had the stairs.
We'd planned to get there plenty early so it wouldn't matter so much, but we still held up traffic as Dad rested after every three or four stairs. Dad likes to sit on the aisle in case he needs to go out and cough (or pee--he's got prostate troubles along with everything else). That means everyone who came after us has to squeeze past his long legs.
Dad ended up outraged that the theatre has no aisle on the opposite side, that the seats no longer flip up so you can step in and let people pass, that they play the commercials so loud it rattles your molars. By the time the previews started, he was ready to go home. So was I.
(Dad's always been such a patient person. It's painful to see him slowly become crotchety and demanding, an old man who doesn't quite follow what's going on much of the time.)
But the movie redeemed the situation. Like Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy, my sister and her husband became legal guardians for a black young man in high school. (His mother died and he had no other family. Brendan was his closest friend, and one thing led to another.) The situations were similar--the struggles in school, disapproving neighbors and friends, very different frames of reference. (No pot of NFL gold and the end of the rainbow for Deb's family, though.)
Anyway, we were predisposed to like the movie, and we did. When it was over, Dad popped up, relieved to get to go to the restroom. Mom and Deb and I remained seated, watching the photos of the actual Tuohy family at the end. Dad was exasperated that we didn't immediately surge out of the theater with him. I didn't understand why he didn't go by himself, until I realized he wasn't sure he could find the restroom alone.
You don't see it coming. Your parents aging, I mean. One day Dad was a slightly grayer, more stooped version of himself, and the next, I'm leading him to the restroom. No wonder he's testy.