Today we were heading to the production of "The Emperor and the Nightingale". I told the boys about it yesterday and did not get very enthusiastic response. This morning, as I was rushing everyone to get dressed and daven, 8 yo proclaimed that he did not want to go. Knee-jerk response: fine, stay home. (Not sure how I was going to pull that off logistically.) Upon his second expression of desire to stay back, I asked him, why? He said, it's an opera and operas are scary. They have blood in them. I explained that it is for kids and I don't think it's an opera. He asked me what is it about. I drew a blank. We were sent a link to the synopsis, but, since the boys did not seem interested, I did not look it up. So there we were, half an hour before leaving our house, looking up what the show was going to be about. 8 yo said that he guessed it was about China and that he knew about the Lantern festival.
We got to the theater and the boys sat with their friends. The musical (it was not an opera) was very child-friendly, engaging the audience, funny at times and well-done. 6 yo was jumping in his seat. 2 yo squirmed in my lap. After the musical the actors lined up in the lobby. I excitedly proposed to meet them. My kids pulled and pulled to get away. I remembered last time 6 yo encountered Cat in the Hat at the book fair and ran out screaming and decided that we will wait outside.
Soon the rest of our group gathered. The kids had lunch together and then played some game which required running. There, we socialize and play with others. I got to talk with the other moms, something that I do not often get to do. What about adult socialization? Who is going to toot that horn?
Then we headed to vote. This is my second time voting in my life (blame it on the slow processing time of paperwork even for perfectly legal aliens). It is still new and exciting for me, and my excitement is somewhat contagious here. The kids lined up to see me sign the papers, present ID, get voting card and then march to the machine. I explained how some positions are uncontested, and we are really electing the person who is in the office already. There is also a referendum on local traffic. The kids have been getting an earful about it, even at our past Shabbos lunch. Now, my husband and I vary in our political persuasions, so, hopefully, that gives my kids both sides of the story. They heard about why it is a good idea to pass the new transportation plan and why it is bad. At the end, they hopefully lined up for stickers, and there were none! The boys were disappointed.
On the drive back home, 8 yo remarked about placards on people's lawns and that we should get one. 6 yo sternly reminded him that voting is private and you do not want other people to know how you voted. They are getting the mechanisms of it. Can't wait for November... although I wish for my first major election that the choices were more exciting.
This afternoon, we checked out a tae kwon do studio. Today we were told just to observe. The boys declared that they liked what they saw and want to try it out. This place has 4 weeks free trial period and will mercifully put both boys into the same group. The teacher seems very strict, but good. I want to see that the boys will still be interested at the end of 4 weeks. I was also impressed that the teacher told us that kipas and tzitzis are ok, without me even asking, and that he understands that Friday afternoons might not work in the winter and we can switch to another day then.
Finally, I got in the mail today "What Your 3rd Grader Needs to Know". I like to get these books for myself, as I think they give me a general idea of which direction we are going. 8 yo saw the book, begged me to give it to him, and has been reading it to himself for the past hour. So if he will learning everything he needs to know in the next couple days, maybe it's time to move on to fourth grade?