We have learned that as parents it’s in our best interest to be interested in the things of our children.
Our youngest loves everything musical. She grew up learning to play several instruments and over time has set those aside to pursue other things. However, music is still a large part of her day.
Being of the generation of the Walkman, I understand the way music can help drive your focus. There were many of times I would slip on my headphones and wear out that Eagles or Guns n Roses cassette tape while doing homework. It helped to block out the rest of the world around me. So I don’t get worried when I know she’s working on school work and I hear music.
She leans away from hair rock and old rock and more toward theatre. At any given time, she can be heard singing along to various shows and their soundtracks. Nothing says “I’m doing the dishes” like belting out a song from Hamilton... right?
Her first experience was going to watch a school production. It was chaos. The audience was louder than the stage presence, the popcorn was burnt, and we were in the very back behind a guy who was head back, snoring through the performance... and she loved it. I should have known then that it would be the start of a long friendship... her and the theatre.
I have seen musicals and plays before, once even before on Broadway but nothing in me ever resonated the way the music does with her.
She discovered the musical section of our “not cable” home network and soon we would have to wrestle the remote from her to watch anything else.
Her favorite for a time was Newsies. Not just the show itself but the ideals and the time it captured. She would spend hours researching the era and the subject... and then proceed to pause the show to tell you all about it... passionately. She took to the subject like my better half takes to politics. Hard. Thorough.
As her sweet sixteen approached, it was an easy decision on where to take her. We decided a long time ago to give our girls memories, experiences and travel rather than things.
We wanted to “wet” their appetite for living as a citizen and going and doing. Like our oldest, we decided that a trip to New York City was the best way to celebrate her coming of age.
I picked the time and almost a year in advance, I did what I do. I secured the best price on tickets and hotels and shows. I paid for it all one by one. My frugalness knows no bounds.
We will Airbnb (not a paid advertisement cause sadly they don’t know me) for a fraction of the cost of a regular hotel and at a much better location in Manhattan. I got us direct flights so far in advance that they email me updates and changes now.
I got us tickets to see a Broadway show... good seats at the best show on earth... Wicked (still not a paid advertisement). I have gotten Groupons (ditto) for fancy meals at places that will be horrified to see me use a coupon. I have it all planned out. I can’t wait to see it through her eyes.
For all my planning, it would be two local shows that made us parents of the year. The NYC trip still far enough off in the distance that it mustn’t seem real to a teenager.
Tickets to dinner and a show of Newsies at the local community theatre, where her dad took one for this team. She came home with stars in her eyes and a cap that she wears constantly.
Yet it was this past week, when I managed to get bad seats in a national tour of Dear Evan Hansen (nope, still not paid advertisement).
She sat on the edge of her seat, she sang, she cried, and she cheered. I spent most of the show... watching her, watch the stage. The pure love of the show was there and it was such a neat thing to see all from her eyes.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and Colorado, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.