I took Red and Chase to see the Atlanta Lyrics’ Shrek the Musical. It was Red’s first theatre performance in some time (um… since he was 2!) because I felt that he was mature enough to handle being polite and quiet for an hour at a time with an intermission to run around. He did fabulously, by the way. Leaving Scarlett at home to hoot and holler for the sitter, we took Red out to a quick lunch before hitting the theatre. What did we see just outside?? A police officer in full uniform and his motorcycle; Red about lost it. A policeman is on his regular rounds of “what I want to be when I grow up,” so we politely walked up and asked to speak to him. Red was gaga with excitement, and unexpectedly, the officer asked him if he’d like to sit on the motorcycle AND let him try on the helmet. Red was overwhelmed when the officer also handed him a junior officer sticker to wear all day.
Before the show, we took a selfie for posterity and to get in on the picture. Quite literally! It was so nice to see old friends and coworkers in the theatre, and to overanalyze how the quick changes were going on back stage. Yes, I was even constructing costume plots in my head because, well, that’s what I do (partially) for a living!
The show was awesome, and a wonderful stage version of the family film we know so well. Despite having seen the animated movie several times, Red was still surprised by many of the plot twists and character reaction. He thought Lord Farquaad was funny, but did NOT want to clap for him, or obey his requests for more applause or silence. When the Lord asked for the audience to laugh at Fiona, Red looked me square in the face and said, “Mama, I’m not laughing. That is NOT nice to do.” I won’t lie, my heart kind of melted. I quickly apologized with a smirk on my face for doing the bidding of the bad guy and the show went on.
(Spoiler alert…) When Shrek and Fiona were finally together professing their admiration for one another, Red was touched. This time, he said, “Oh, Mama… They are not the same, and then they are. They just love each other, and that’s wonderful.” This was followed by a slow and tender hug that lasted a few moments. I loved every second.
I can say that I’m trying my hardest to raise my kids to be upstanding, moral and kind people. Sure, I’m making my share of mistakes and doing my best, but tiny moments like this that show my Red’s developing a strong moral compass makes me just so proud. I know they aren’t an extension of me, but I feel like my kids represent me and my parenting skills. So the next time you see Scarlett or Red pitching a fit in Target, remember this story and throw me the Mockingjay sign. I promise I’ll see you…