Monday, January 11, 2010


Johnny and I had been looking forward to today for many weeks.  It was Kindergarten's field trip to the theater and I was a chaperone.  We saw Tomie DePaolo's book Strega Nonna performed on stage.   Johnny is especially fond of the book and it's spaghetti-filled ending.  That is no surprise.  He loves spaghetti, but not any old way.  He likes it with parmesan cheese (but only the good stuff hand grated) and he likes it with meatballs (but only homemade - mine or his Italian grandmother's).  He'll accept sauce from a jar but not without an exaggerated roll of his eyes, making clear the magnitude of his concession.  That's right Johnny.  Not all food is good eatin'. 

Field trips were the best.  I remember how special I felt as a little girl on at least one occasion when my mother attended a field trip with me.  The details of the trip are hazy at best.  I want to say we were on a farm but it could have been the zoo.  I remember grass, animal smells, and a naughty little boy in a tree with my mother coaxing him down.  Was that you, little brother, or a classmate?  I bet it was you.  I also remember a red building.  A barn maybe?  Or gift shop?  These details are barely retrievable, but I remember clearly how special and proud I felt. Mom was not at work.  She was with me on a special trip.

I wonder if Johnny felt that way today.  I hope so.  I walked into his classroom and he shouted with glee, "Mommy!" and turned to his friend while pointing to me and said, (always louder than necessary) "That's my mom."  We were off to a good start.

Next we boarded the big yellow bus and Johnny tells me all about riding a bus as if I have never seen the inside of one.  I must admit, I was surprised to find that they have seat belts on the bus these days.  I was informed by my five year old expert that seat belts are optional.  We decided to take our chances.

When the show began and the lights went down Johnny sat in his seat with his big snow boots sticking straight out in front of him and stared wide-eyed at the performance.  He laughed from his belly at the age-appropriate physical comedy.  There were prat falls and kicks in the butt.  He clapped spontaneously after all the song and dance performances.  And when the lead female character kissed the male lead, "Big Anthony," Johnny shouted out, "That's dishgusting."  More people in the theater laughed at him than at the kiss.  It was such a joy to sit by his side and enjoy him enjoying himself.  As the play wore on, Johnny did not lose interest, but he did get sleepy.  I could see his eyes sort of glaze and he reached for my hand.

We sat there in the dark theater, hand in hand until the show ended.  Bliss.

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