Our son was seven years old when Jurassic Park – the first one – came out in 1993. Like many seven-year-old boys – and girls, too, probably – he was fascinated by anything to do with dinosaurs, and of course wanted to go see the movie.

We weren’t sure that was a good idea, so my husband and I decided to see the movie ourselves first, and then decide if it was okay for our son to see it. I still remember sitting in the theater that day. We were just a few minutes into the opening scene when we turned to each other and said, practically in unison, “We’re not bringing him to see this movie.”

He wasn’t happy, of course, but didn’t have much choice about it at the time. He finally got to see the movie a few years later, when we rented it on videotape and watched it at home. This was still back in the ’90s, and that’s how we watched movies at home before streaming and on-demand viewing were invented.

The irony of it all is that our daughter, who also watched the movie with us, was younger than our son had been when we decided he wasn’t old enough to see it. Maybe it seemed okay because of the difference between watching it on the big screen of a movie theater and on the small screen of our TV at home. (Big-screen TVs hadn’t been invented yet, either.) Or maybe it was because at home, we could cover the kids’ eyes during the gory parts, or fast-forward through them, although I don’t remember doing either one.

My husband and I went to the theater this past weekend to see Jurassic World: Dominion, the latest movie in the franchise. We both enjoyed it, but this isn’t a review of the movie. It’s more of a stroll down Memory Lane.

It’s been almost 30 years since the first Jurassic Park movie came out, with five more over the years. I’ve seen only a few of them, but I got kind of nostalgic in the theater, thinking back to the first one, and how our family has grown and changed since then.

Our kids aren’t much younger now than my husband and I were back then. Our son has kids of his own, and they all have dinosaur-related toys and clothing. Fascination with dinosaurs, apparently, is universal and timeless, despite the fact that they’re extinct. Except in movies, of course.

I’ve read that Jurassic World: Dominion is the last planned Jurassic Park movie. But plans can change. Either way, I’m confident that dinosaurs – and memories – will continue to entertain us, no matter what age we may be.

June 14, 2022
©Betty Liedtke, 2022

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