Which is kid code for “Hey Mom? Will you buy the expensive tickets because I want to go but I’m just a poor working kid?”
Now, honestly, the kid had me at Peter Pan. Because I love musical theater and will go see any musical, any time, pretty much at any venue. I have sat through many an off-key song, in lots of uncomfortable chairs, all for the sake of musical verse.
But I won’t go alone. And the Beneficent Mr. Hall is very picky about the musical theater he’ll attend. (Les Miserables, yes. Peter Pan, not so much.) So naturally, I was excited about a willing offer to see Peter Pan. Even though I knew I’d have to add another expensive ticket to the bunch for Juniorette Hall.
You see, Peter Pan is not just a musical. It’s the musical I taped one evening when the kids had gone to bed because it came on at 9:00. But the next day, at nap time, when Juniorette Hall was (sorta) sleeping, I popped in Peter Pan for Oldest Junior Hall to watch, thinking he’d love those pirates. And boy, did he ever!
He loved the pirates, he loved Peter Pan, he loved the flying and the Indians and Tiger Lily and the drums. He thought Mary Martin was the coolest boy ever. And Captain Hook? Ho, ho! I can’t tell you how many pirate books I read to that boy.
And before long, Juniorette quit the naps in favor of watching Peter Pan, too. I’d doze on the couch about the time Mrs. Darling started singing, “Tender Shepherd.” But I’d be wide awake at the last act, when Peter asked Wendy to go back to Neverland.
Oh, that last scene always tugged at my heart. Because I knew that one day, those kids would outgrow Peter Pan. Of course, that sort of thing never happens when you’re watching. You’re busy cheering at baseball games, helping with homework, looking for retainers, getting learner’s permits…and suddenly, those little kids are all grown up and out the door.
But then one day, your all-grown son asks if you want to go to the Fox Theater and see Peter Pan, live on the stage. And then he adds a throwaway line: “It’s been a dream of mine,” he says, “since I was a little kid.”
So, yeah. I clicked on the tab for three expensive tickets– because how often do you get a chance to make a a little boy’s dream come true?
(P.S. If you’ve never read J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, you can read it here, in its entirety, thanks to the Literature Project. In fact, you can find all kinds of classics, poems, plays, for FREE, at the Literature Project. How clever is that?)