The box had sat sealed under the shelf next to the DVD player since the day I had bought it many years before. I had waited for this moment and now finally that day had come. We had walked down the aisles of toy shops for what had seemed like forever and I was the one who always seemed to stop and stare at the array of toys in this particular section. He never showed the slightest flicker of interest, not once, but now that had changed.
I remember as a boy when I had been exceptionally good my Mum would return home from shopping with a treat for me. I would sit there anxiously waiting to see if she had bought the figure that I had requested, the one toy that would make me smile and rush off into another room, another world. I would carefully take the toy out of the plastic bubble, trying to preserve the cardboard backing as there was always a photo of the character on it from the film.
I would play for hours recreating the scenes that had been ingrained in my head from the most recent visit to the pictures. My kids find this funny when I tell them there wasnt any DVD players back then. To be honest we had only just got a video player!. If you wanted to see the latest films you queued at the cinema and went and watched them on the big screen.
Once again I was 8 years old and walking blinking into the light of the foyer. My head filled with more questions than answers and in a state of high excitement at what Id just seen. He was his father? Really? Wow! Wait until I got to school on Monday and told my friends all about it. As I held my Dads hand and chattered ten to the dozen, the sugar rush from popcorn and coke still rushing around inside of me, I saw it. It was and still is one of my greatest memories of being a child.
In the foyer lining one whole wall was a glass cabinet someone had brilliantly recreated a scene from the film, using exactly the same toys that I had at home. Someone had spent hours getting the detail exactly right, the figures placed in the exact right place as they had been on the screen. I stood there and pressed my face up against the glass, remerging myslef back into that world once again and taking in every detail so as I could try and recreate the exact same thing at home.
I can picture it now as clear as day, the colours off the backing paper used to line the glass, the position of the characters, the smell of popcorn wafting through the air. If I close my eyes and think hard enough I can even remember my Dad smiling and telling me it was time to go and me pleading for just one more moment. I close my eyes and I am eight years old once again.
As I ripped the cellophane from the DVD boxset my hands trembled slighty. This was a moment I had wanted to happen for years. There are certain things fathers wish to share with their sons, kicking a ball over a park, taking them to a football match or whatever sport they are into. More importsntly though is being able to share with their son a lifetimes enjoyment from something they enjoyed as a child and hoping that they get the same pleasure from it that you did.
I watched him and his brother, my sons, during the film more than the film itself. I didnt need to watch it closely I knew it word for word and could tell exactly what the next scene would be. Their faces didnt move the whole time, they sat there for two hours and didnt blink. Enthralled by it they asked to watch the next one straight away. I smiled knowing that what I had been waiting for all these years didnt disappoint me. It had been worth the wait. Myself and my sons now have something we can share for a lifetime as me and my Dad did before them.
Like it did for me as a child it all started "In a galaxy a long, long time ago......................................"