Since Baby Chiara was born, I’ve been making a point to get out every now and then with my boy. B.C. – Before Chiara – he had my undivided mothering for 8 whole years. For example, whereas once we went to the pool everysummer morningand swam together, practiced diving, played Marco Polo in the deep end – I am now relegated to the 3-feet area or the Baby Pool (though we have invented a new game, Buzz the Brother, in which Chiara and I chase aroundBig Brotherand finally catch him and buzz him with Chiara’s butt or foot, the beestinger…). B.C. I was able to make him his special breakfast every day, but now sometimes, I am feeding the baby or changing diapers, and he, too hungry to wait for me, pours his own cereal and milk. And this is neither goodnor bad – it’s different. The most important thing is that he adores his sister – she’s the first person he kisses good morning and he melts into a smile when she calls out to him: DaaaDooo. He’s learning more independence and has one more person who loves him in this lifetime- and that’s always a good thing.
But every now and then I like to enlist our trusted babysitter and take him out on a date, and last evening, I enjoyed anight outwith not only himbut alsomy other most favorite guy, my husband, at the Oriental Theater, where we saw Billy Elliot.
It was the perfect musical for a nine year old boy. Billy, a young pre-tween, lives in working class northern England with his father, a striking coal miner,politically active brother, and senile granny.When he happens upon a ballet class, he discovers his passion for expressing himself through dance – a pretty uncommonextracurricular activityfor a young boy in his community. Despite the opposition of family and society in general, Billy begins training with a local dance instructor and begins, little by little, to discover and pursue his dreams. The take-home message is: Do what you love and follow your heart.
At almost 3 hours in duration, it’s a lengthy musical and might not fit the attention span of children under eight. Make sure to splurge on decent seats – while adults can enjoy shows even at a distance, kids need to be as close-up as possible to enjoy the action.
As a fun pre-show discussion, give your kids a little primer on the differences between British and American English. Click here for a fun online dictionary.