Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Where the Children are Free

A local professional theater company presented a children's matinee of Free To Be You and Me this summer. I grew up listening to this record and still love it dearly. When I learned that I was pregnant, I bought the CD for my child. Ellie listens to it regularly. My mom thought that Ellie would love the show, but I was skeptical. I didn't want to buy tickets then have to leave after 10 minutes, but I didn't think she could sit through an entire show. I also didn't want to disrupt the experience for the other mid-day patrons.

Finally, at the very last show, we decided to go. And Ellie loved it. She was enraptured for the entire 55 minute performance. Although she had her own seat, she sat or stood on her daddy's lap - in the front row - with her mouth hanging open almost the entire time. The rest of the time, she was grinning. Ellie sang along with "Brothers and Sisters," clapped along when the cast prompted us to do so, and applauded wildly along with the rest of the audience after each number.

The whole experience was perfect and brought tears to my eyes. We'll just have to do it again in a few years so that she can remember it.

In other recent news, Ellie has transitioned to the "older toddlers" room at school, a precursor to her planned move up to the "two's" room later this fall. I booked our September vacation to Walt Disney World, and in true Sarahlynn fashion I have enjoyed planning at least as much as I'll enjoy traveling. I have already read and annotated "Birnbaum's 2005 Walt Disney World Dining Guide" and made good headway on "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Children." I am especially proud of my shopping prowess here, as I've planned a 5 day vacation for the three of us for $1100. Paul's got a business meeting in Orlando, so his flight was free. Ellie and I redeemed frequent flyer miles for our flight. I bought park tickets and booked a WWW resort, and got meals thrown in for free (fall promotion). Woohoo! I know that Ellie won't remember a thing about this trip, but I know that I will, and let's be honest about who this is really for, right? Can anything be any more fun than watching pure enjoyment and wide-eyed wonder in your children? I can't imagine it.


She Dances in Dragon said...

You're going to *love* disney world. I went there for my second honeymoon; and the place truly is magical. I recommend (not that you asked for advice, I know) pick the rides you absolutely must go on, but forget about setting a schedule. Head toward the rides you want, and keep an eye on the crowds. Unlike Six Flags, there's a herd mentality in Disney world. Simply walk in the opposite direction of the crowd to find wait-free rides.
Seriously. We had to wait an hour for Space Mountain, but everything else was 10 or 15 minutes, tops.
Enjoy your trip!

Jessica said...

Great post, Sarahlynn - and Ellie will have a fine time looking at the pictures of the trip later in life. I agree, though, I get more excitement watching wonderment in small ones than I do in experiencing it myself. This was recently reciprocated with Dylan who beamed and patted my back as I saw Big Ben for the first time in London.

Tara Marie said...

You are so absolutely right....the trip will be about you and your dh watching Ellie wide-eyed at her first experience in the Magic Kingdom [and for her she will marval in the moment, fully captivated by what she sees, hears, tastes and smells]......and with pictures and your words, she will *remember* this trip, through the many, many times she will spend looking through photo albums of herself as a wide-eyed toddler and the joy in her parents words recounting the trip.

Great planning,,,,,sounds like a wonderful September.

ccw said...

Sounds like such a fun trip!

I'm so glad Ellie liked the show. Seeing theat level of joy is such an awesome experience.

trisha said...

Oh, how I LOVE FTB...YAM! I LOVE it!

Your post made me weepy and gave me the goosebumps! I know that skepticism well. Isn't it terrific when it works out so well? Teaches me not to make decisions for Robbie. Though, sometimes I am right. I try to not count those times.

I would sooo love to go to Disney! Lucky you guys!

Psycho Kitty said...

Plus, don't bet that she won't remember. I remember things from when I was 1. You never know...and Disney, even as commercial as it is, ROCKS.

Orange said...

The first time my son was willing to sit still and watch the "Free to Be You and Me" DVD with me, it plunged me into such deep nostalgia and maternal happiness that I cried. Several times, at that. And I also discovered how HOT Harry Belafonte was back then. I think he was already in his 40s, but he looked about 30. No matter how many job-related uniforms/costumes he put on, he was still hot.

PPB said...

oh, this is going to be great! I can't believe how many big milestones she's hit in just the few months I've been reading your blog! Wow! BTW, I moved. I'm still signed in to PPB, but new blog is at

Redhead Editor said...

Please TAKE ME! You're right. Ellie won't remember DW. But I would, and I really want to go. My 17-yr-old can watch Ellie. And could you please plan our family trip to the UK next summer? I dread the planning. It's no fun!

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Sarahlynn said...

I've read "Fast Food Nation" and I know why I should hate Walt Disney World, but I just don't. I love it. I love the amazing service, the way trash is picked up as soon as it's dropped, and over all, the sense of *wonder* they manage to create. I know it's a Potemkin village, but I suspend my disbelief and just believe in this impossible fantasy world for a time.

Random Redhead, that's exactly my philosophy. Plan ahead so you know what you can't do without, then relax and let the vacation happen while insuring that you hit the things you most want to see.

Thanks for commenting, all, it's so great to hear from you! (Well, except for BHVJim, Alex, Mel, and Niche, who seem to be spammers.) PPB, THANK YOU for the new contact info. And, redhead editor, well, thanks for the offer, but . . . no thanks. I don't think that the planning would be as fun if I wasn't actually going on the trip.

trisha said...

Atalanta is my favorite FTB bit.

What about you, SL?

Sarahlynn said...

I get all choked up every time I hear the Atalanta story. My favorites songs are "Glad to Have a Friend Like You" and "Parents Are People." :)

trisha said...

fair and fun and skippin' free
Glad to have a friend like you
And glad to just be me

Good stuff. You know, I don't think there is anything I don't love about it.

I took a Storytelling class in college and did Atalanta....boy, did I bomb.

Sarahlynn said...