Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Frog and Toad-verload

I love classic children's books.  One of my very favorite authors in the entire world, is, naturally, Beverly Cleary.  But beyond Mrs. Cleary, I enjoy other classics, too.  My parents are the anti-hoarders, but they have kept at least 50-60 of our books from childhood, and when I read them with the girls the memories come flooding back to me.  I don't remember any Arnold Lobel books from my childhood, but when I saw the illustrations on one of his books at the library, I knew that I wanted to read them with the girls.  We started off a few months ago listening to the audio books in the car.  When I saw that our season subscription for Adventure Theatre included tickets for the young audience version of the Broadway show A Year With Frog and Toad, I also picked up the soundtrack.

In a funny coincidence, the local elementary school chose A Year with Frog & Toad as their annual production and it coincided with the same weekend that we had tickets for the Adventure Theatre version.  The two productions were different, of course, and the girls loved them equally but for different reasons.  Ramona can act out the first couple scenes pretty well.  In fact, I'm on a hunt for an old calendar with rip off pages so that she can act it out more accurately.

So between the books, the performances, and the sound-track we've had a lot of Frog & Toad recently.

I find that in my experience of mothering, I get messages at different times that reinforce what I really value.  Sometimes, it's one of the girls saying something to me like, "Don't you know you shouldn't yell at little children ?"   More often than not, it's reading another blogger who reminds me of the things I really value.  But I never expected to get a message from a children's musical, particularly one that I was already familiar with and had heard several times already.

When I heard the following lyrics, I was pretty darn surprised at how they sum up how I feel a lot of the time:
Sometimes the days, they can be very busy

So I like to stop and think now and then
I think of the reasons I have to be happy
And that makes me happy all over again

I think I do a good job of knowing all the reasons I have to be happy.  Even when I'm compaining about housework or being busy, I know how fortunate my family is.  In this case, hearing those lyrics pop out at me reminded me to stop in the middle of the busy days.  So, that afternoon, each girl got their own box of popcorn instead of having to share 1 box, and we rode the carousel a second time, and later on, we played Go Fish underneath the table in the dining room instead of doing laundry.

Best of all, when we saw a couple of the actors from the show relaxing at one of the picnic tables, I asked Beezus and Ramona if they wanted to go over with me and sing the chorus of "Snail with the Mail" to them.  Beezus said she would, but chickened out when we got over there, so I sang it all by myself.  As I looked at my girls and saw the looks of sheer delight on their faces, it just made me happy all over again.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Now I'm even more excited to see this production. If you want to go back for more, we'd love to see you on Sunday!

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