When my kids were babies, they were entertained by the littlest things. As a newborn, Sam could watch ceiling fans for hours. As a toddler, his favorite activity at baby gym classes was playing with the electrical cords and wires in the room. I’m not sure what that says about my parenting skills, but the point is that even the smallest things that we, as adults, take for granted, can provide amazement. Every parent knows that the cardboard box is way more interesting to a young child than the toy inside. Had I known this 11 years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of money on baby classes and toys.
This past weekend, my lifelong friend Lynne drove to Dayton, OH from Detroit to see Sam in The Addams Family and to hang out with a very bored me. We went to dinner at the restaurant Citilites inside The Schuster Theatre. Most of the people there were coming to see the show and Lynne had the best time telling every single waitress, waiter and patron in that restaurant that Sam was Pugsley. In fact, she walked around town all weekend informing everyone we saw that Sam was Pugsley, because she loved seeing the reactions of people when they realized a “celebrity” was in their mist. She got a thrill at all the discounts we got everywhere, the autograph requests, and the way the cast hangs out at the lobby, gym and restaurant at the hotel. She also finally got me to go to the after-show bar scene with the cast. Lucky for me, it turns out I can have more than 3 drinks in one day and not get sick.
But the best part of Lynne being here was seeing the show with her. She had never seen Sam onstage before (even though her kids do own a copy of Sam in “Pinkalicous”) and it was amazing watching all of it through her eyes. She was so excited to be with him, to be a part of all of it, and to experience it with us. She kept asking him if he was nervous before the show (which he never is), if I was nervous (which I sometimes am), and if I could actually believe that this was real.
Last night, Sam, his tutor Julie, Keleen (who is still an injured Morticia, but coming back onstage in Philly), and I went to see the new “Oz” movie. Despite what reviewers have said, we all thought it was amazing. Even though we were all confused as to what happened to the Elpheba/ Galinda version from Wicked, we loved this version of pre-Dorothy Oz. Also, it made me really really want to get sparkly nails and wear more sparkly jewelry, clothes and makeup like all the witches in the movie.
Why do people love stories of Oz so much? I think that all of us would love to believe that there is another world out there that is much more colorful than the one we are currently living in. I have always loved the idea that if you use your imagination, anything is possible over the rainbow. Especially after a really bad storm.
I think after seeing Sam onstage so many times, especially in this show, I have become a little bit jaded. I am tired and miss my family and am dreading tomorrow’s travel day to Erie, PA. But, watching it with Lynne reminded me of the incredible experience and opportunity this really is. It IS amazing to watch him be a part of this. It IS incredible to watch how the magic unfolds on and off the stage. It IS incredible to be able to escape to a new world every single night. It IS amazing that dreams do come true if you believe.
So, thank you to Lynne, who doesn’t read my blog because it stresses her out (she thinks I am doing too much), who reminded me about the magic of this experience. And thank you to Sam Raimi, director of Oz, for reminding me about a world of possibilities that can still exist, where good can triumph over evil if you believe in yourself (and also, thank you for filming the movie in suburban Detroit, which is his hometown and mine. I am always a Detroit fan, no matter where I live.) And thank you to my kids, for showing me that ceiling fans, cardboard boxes and electrical cords can be fascinating. Anything is incredible when seen through fresh eyes. And anything is possible if you just believe.