As a parent, it is my fondest desire to give my children all of the things I always wanted but never got as a kid. It never seems to occur to me that there were reasons I never got those things. As soon as I think of something I used to want as a child, all that sweeps over me is an emotional need to give it to my children, and so last evening we took the family to see "Sesame Street Live" as a birthday present for Ruby.
I must say, that everyone had a great time, except for that poor guy trying to eat a burger at the restaurant next to the theater, clearly wondering why his meal had somehow been transported to the middle of a playground, if that playground was full of children who had just been told they were all about to meet Elmo.
We timed things pretty much perfectly, and so we arrived at the theater about 7 minutes before the show started and after we all got settled, the show began. The first thing that happened was that Bert came out on stage, prompting Ruby to start screaming "BERT! BERT!" I thought that she could not get any more excited, but that was until Ernie came out. And I can't even tell you in words what happened to the excitement level when Big Bird came out. One by one, the Sesame Street characters came out to join the dance party on stage, until finally the star of the show, Elmo himself, arrived to thunderous squealing.
It was a little weird for me to see all those muppets dancing around human style, since they were of course just humans in costume, but the kids didn't seem to notice the altered proportions of their favorite friends, and by intermission it was clear that the evening was a hit. And then they brought out the balloons. Now, I don't know who thought it was a good idea to walk into a theater where a show was going on with a giant bundle of Elmo balloons, but it happened. I think the picture says it all.
Big Bird did come over the loudspeaker and ask everyone to put their giant balloons under their seats, and I think by the end of the show almost everyone did, but it sure was a sight to see.
The person that enjoyed the show the most seemed to be Edward, who stared with rapt attention at the stage and bounced up and down for all he was worth during all of the songs. Of course that was before Ruby escaped and ran up to the stage to be with Elmo.
It really was Elmo's own fault, because he specifically asked all the children to dance, which was a terrible idea, but he did, and they did. Children filled the aisles, and how could we say no to Ruby? So we let her out, which was not a good idea. As she inched further and further down the aisle (we were sitting in the cheap seats in the back) Simone turned to me and said "I didn't think she would go so far..." Before we knew it, Ruby was at the stage, in the midst of a large group of children, doing all the dance moves that Elmo was doing, and singing at the top of her lungs. She is going to be a lot of fun at concerts when she is older, but last night her parents were getting a little worried. Especially when it became clear that the show was wrapping up and several families decided to beat the rush out of the theater and took to the aisles.
It always makes me nervous when we are at a large public gathering and I lose sight of my children, so I ran down to the front and grabbed Ruby. I told her it was time to go back to our seats and she followed me back up the aisle to Simone and Edward. At least, that's what I assumed she was doing, except when I turned around, she was back at the front, jumping up and down in front of the stage and shrieking with joy. So I went back and grabbed her again, and once again as soon as I turned around she was off in the other direction. That made it hand-holding time as we marched back to our seats and got ready to leave ourselves.
We let Ruby bring her birthday money to the show to buy a souvenir, and she picked out a pair of binoculars, which she has been using all morning to watch TV and look at things across the room, so it was a good purchase I think. In the end, we stayed up way too late and everyone is cranky this morning, but I think we all had a great time and it was totally worth it. However I see why my parents may have avoided it.