I am a very conflicted person. I was raised on fairytales and magic and had a sweet and wonderful childhood. Then I went to college and studied Film and English and became a sort of jaded “Into the Woods” – “Don’t Lie to Your Children about Santa Claus” sort of person.
Now that I have kids, I want them to have as magical a childhood as I did and I want them to use their imaginations and dream and see the world as a wonderful place. Like my parents before me, I will teach them what they need to know when they need to know it.
A Quote from last month’s book club book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom:
Corrie as a young child had asked her father about Sex. “He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. ”˜Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?’ he said. I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning. ”˜It’s too heavy,’ I said. ”˜Yes,’ he said. ”˜And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.’”
A psychiatrist once told me that he thinks encouraging imagination and belief in fairies and Santa Claus, etc. encourages children to think on a higher conceptual level and to develop empathy.
This weekend, we went the magical route and headed for a high school production of Cinderella. What a blast for the kids. The moms had a great time too.
The girls all dressed like Cinderella in honor of the occasion.
Laylee didn’t have a Cinderella costume so she wore a blue dress and we told her she looked like the Cinder-one anyway. All three girls got magic necklaces from their “fairy godmothers.”
We all settled in for a great show. An announcement was made that no photos were allowed to be taken inside the theatre. I heard and ignored this warning. I don’t think taking pictures of my own kids violates the school’s copyright agreement with Rogers and Hammerstein….and I didn’t take any during the performance.
I did not, however, hear the warning that people in the back half of the theatre should keep the isles clear during the second half of the show. This would be very important later.
Despite the fact that it was a Saturday matinee starring all of the understudies and they charged a fortune for tickets, there was a pretty full house.
As the orchestra began playing the overture, Karli and I both started tearing up. It made me remember being in theatre and going to musicals with my mom. The tradition is alive and well. Karli also misses performing. We made a vow to do some sort of community theatre one day (something with no kissing scenes since we’ve both made a previous vow concerning this aspect of theatre with our husbands). Laylee clapped wildly when appropriate and yelled out, “OH!” “That’s the FAIRY GODMOTHER!” and “I think the MICE ARE COMING!” at all the appropriate places. About an hour in, she was on my lap with her head resting on my arm. Did I mention the play started right about naptime?
At half-time, we stood in line to buy wands.
The wands were waved wildly in the wind ….until they broke. Many tears were shed.
Much repair work was done.
After my four-hundredth intermission photo, a voice came over the intercom reminding the audience that no photography was permitted in the auditorium (read this: Kathryn, you flash-happy nut, stop taking pictures already!).
Laylee was very tired during the second half. Since I was sitting on the isle, I laid her coat out in the isle like a pillow and let her rest her head where she could still see the show. A minute later, I heard loads of screaming and feet pounding down the isle. I snatched her out of the way just in time to avoid being crushed by 50 giddy adolescent glass-slipper-trier-oners. That was scary, or as Laylee would say, “That was cloast!” The theatre was really dark and they could have crushed her head like a grape. I remind myself to listen the next time “they” explain how I can use my airplane seat cushion as a flotation device.
When everything was proclaimed “Happily ever after,” we had pictures taken with the royal couple, bundled up the kidos and headed out into the cold Puget Sound fall.
The drive home was wet.
Laylee finally got to sleep.
What a great day, until a few hours later when the hideous parasite took over my body. Thanks for all your well-wishes. I’m feeling much better today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be fully mended and no one else will come down with it.
Speaking of tomorrow — the tip is how to convince/trick your kids, your spouse and yourself into eating more vegetables.