Last weekend I saw a touring company production of Waitress, Sara Bareilles lively musical about a working-class woman at a particular moment in her life when circumstances force her to make serious choices.
I am not a theatre critic. I have seen a handful of live musicals, and a few more musicals adapted for film, leaving no basis to analyze and dissect a performance as a critic might. My propensity to gush over the latest thing I have seen is strong as I don’t really see all that many performances.
My general take on musicals is that they have preposterous plots, with just enough storyline to hang a few catchy tunes on. The Music Man, Chicago, Mamma Mia – all thin plots with peppy music and enthralling dance numbers.
Waitress was different. The story was real, a story of a group of working women in struggles that could be pulled from the headlines. Yes, it is just story, but so much more relatable than other musicals. The music was fantastic, and…it makes you want a slice of pie.
My daughter is obsessed with dragons. She has built several LEGO dragon models from the company’s Elves series. The kits include parts for a dragon and some related scenery; she builds the dragon, the bags of scenery parts remain unopened. She has read countless books about dragons. While the show is too old for her, I have let her know of the dragons on Game of Thrones; the story fascinates her. She even dreams of dragons.
These beasts of fantasy and magic, dragons are impossible creatures imagined as having powers beyond those of mere humans. I am not sure how or why my daughter projects herself onto the dragons, but it is clear that she does. She wants to care for her LEGO dragons, mother them as other kids might care for a favorite stuffed animal. She takes them to restaurants to keep her company and sets out bowls of blueberries for them to eat. She is even writing an interesting story about them thank blows my mind.
What if our thoughts, our dreams, are received glimpses of other realities in some part of the multiverse? What if there is a place where dragons are real, a place that only a few can truly connect with? What if dragons are more than just a creation of a collective fear, stoked by Hollywood.
I think dragons are as real as my daughter believes them to be. Like most childish things the dragons will fade from her conscious mind soon enough. Right now, I want her to learn from them, as much as one can from introspection.
The dragon inside her is a fierce beast that wants to be loved. I hope I’m up to the task.
Posted in Personal
Like most people my age, I still am using Facebook, and a friend posted one of those occasionally thought-provoking memes saying, “Give your best advice in four words or less.”
I am not really one to give advice. I have a good life, but no grand successes that people envy enough to ask for advice. Lately though, as I have tried to grow as a parent, I have had to learn to manage my emotions.
Without judging my parents, I did not have good role models for managing my emotions growing up. My mother could be hot-tempered, and my dad had little patience for things not going his way. My mother is deceased, my father has changed a lot, but I still feel I missed some critical lessons in emotional awareness and self-control growing up. I find that my deficiencies are in full view as a parent. My daughter can be annoying at times, but with practice, I have discovered that if I stop getting emotional, breathe to calm down, listen to what she is telling me both linguistically and emotionally, then I learn what makes her tick. What makes her upset, angry, and challenging.
It does not mean I can solve her difficulties, but I can react with calm, rather than dismissive annoyance or, worse, anger. And that makes me a little bit better as a parent.
Posted in Personal