Date Night with My Boy

Mack was overdue for a date night with mom. As he has been reminding me lately, Evie has had THREE special nights out with me (Katy Perry concert, going to see the movie Annie, and the Lyric Opera). In the interest of fairness, I owed him!

When I saw that the Chicago Children’s Theatre had a new puppet show opening I immediately thought of my dear, sweet Mack. I scooped up four tickets for “The Selfish Giant” – two for us, and I let Mack invite a friend and his mother for the other two. He loved meeting up with Massimo outside of school – and so “late” at night! We started the double date at Chipotle (Mack’s favorite) before walking over to the theatre.  I think the evening will be a fun shared memory, especially the time they spent making puppets together before the show started.

As the lights dimmed and the music started, Mack climbed onto my lap. I smelled the top of his head, ran my fingers through his soft hair and wondered how many more times my big boy would willingly snuggle up with me in such a public setting (with his friend right there, too!). If his younger siblings were with us, he never could have taken that spot; one-on-one time with each of my kids is so important.

The Selfish Giant” was so creative and thoughtful and sweet. And at a brisk 45 minutes, the show kept Mack’s attention. Because it is a children’s theatre there was no need to “shhhhhh!” when he asked questions or commented on the set. He was so engaged with the performance and the story.

Narrated by a grandfatherly acoustic musician, the show follows the story of a giant who returns home after a long absence. The giant (a really big puppet!) is grumpy and unkind, refusing to share his lovely parcel of land with the neighborhood kids. As the show progresses through the four seasons, the giant’s heart softens and he realizes that the innocence and enthusiasm of youth is just what he needs to feel alive again.

Perhaps my favorite part of “The Selfish Giant” was the message: that anyone – no matter the size – is worthy of love. Childhood races by in an instant. It is such a sacred and special time, and a show like this helps me remember just how lucky I am to see childhood again through Mack’s blue eyes.

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