Thank God for freezing cold Tuesdays. Tuesday was our second day of NO SCHOOL here in Minnesota. As I understand it, the really cold air at the North Pole decided to funnel down through the United States. so Monday Gov. Mark Dayton closed all public schools statewide. That hasn’t happened in 17 years. Tuesday, the district decided to stay closed. I’m not in school, but still it was exciting and fun – my two munchkins got to stay home.
Since going outside meant, as my friend Kelly likes to say, the possibility that we could freeze our faces off, we spent most of Monday and Tuesday indoors. Most of it. We did blow some bubbles out on the deck and watch them freeze. I had never done that before. It’s interesting.
By Tuesday afternoon the novelty of being home with Mom and Dad had worn off. Christmas had come and gone and my husband had won the war of leaving the tree up or taking it down. We took it down. We packed up the ornaments and decorations, and spent a little time talking about where each item had come from. Then we piled onto the couch. No doing the dishes or the laundry or the anything that needed to be done around here. As a family we declared it a Do Nothing day. Blankets piled high, each of us sort of on top of the other, we selected our first Netflix pick: Shrek the Musical. I’m not gonna lie, I was skeptical.
I figured my son would lose interest and my husband would make some sort of face or comment wondering why we hadn’t picked a non-musical something we could all watch. To my delight none of those things happened. We all sat there – the dog, my husband, my son and daughter and I – enjoying the music and the costumes and the lighting and special effects. It was awesome. And like with the movie, we enjoyed the humor, too. Shrek the Musical got a lot of laughs and it ignited all sorts of conversation about actors and costumes and costume designers and camera operators. The kids, like many people, hadn’t realized how many individuals are actually involved in the creation of such a production. Each person and how what they do adds to what is trying to be accomplished – don’t you love to look at that?
“Who don’t you see? Who isn’t in the spotlight?” I asked the kids. Then I began to point out, “There’s the guy who makes the costumes, and the woman who picks the music, and the man who does the make-up . . . ” I said to my kids.
“Yeah,” they said, their eyes looking back into their heads as they thought about it.
They pondered it a while, the kids, thinking about who designed the costumes and who made them; who wrote the music and who sang it; who created the story of Shrek and who brought it to life. I loved that they were thinking about that.
The show ended. We turned the oven on to heat up for dinner, and we made our next Family Couch Time selection. Keeping with the theme of conversation we chose . . . Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
Ah, Cirque du Soleil . . . if ever an adult was to actually see a dream come to life it seems a Cirque du Soleil production might be it. To say so much with such few words – it is truly magical.
I’ve heard of Cirque du Soleil. I’ve seen posters and advertisements. I know people who have gone to it. But really, I just didn’t have a clue. I’m not sure what it is like live, but in our living room . . . we were all in awe.
“They’re in an umbrella, Mom. Do you see the umbrella?”
“That guy’s face is scary. Is he a bad guy?”
“Mmmm . . . I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Lets watch . . .”
“Do you know how many hours they have to spend doing this stuff?” my husband added.
“I’m sure. Look how strong they are,” I said.
The strength and flexibility of the performers is incredible. “Wish I could do that,” each of us said at one time or another. “Wish I could do that.”
The music was enchanting and beautiful. The performers strong and graceful. An incredible story came to life right before our eyes in a way we had not seen before. Together we sat in our living room engulfed in possibilities.
Then my husband got up to put dinner in the oven. And the kids slid off the couch and grabbed some silver and gold beaded necklaces from New Years Eve. I sat, watching a woman held by a single ankle swing through the air. “Someone dreamed this. And someone made it come to life. Isn’t that cool?” I said to my children, who were waving necklaces through the air and dancing around the living room trying to mimic some of what they had observed on the television.
“Pretty cool,” my daughter said.
“I like dat guy who was jumping,” said my son.
And looking at me smile at them they danced over and gave me a hug. “Think of all the cool things you can do,” I said squeezing them tight. “Just think of it.”
That freezing cold Tuesday may have been my favorite day this year. It was memorable and special.