January 4th 2010
Dear Anne and Carter:
Today I went to a theatrical performance of Sleeping Beauty all by myself. I wanted to be with children and watch how they’d react to seeing real people act out that famous fairy tale. I wanted to feel like a child again myself. I think that is why so many people love being with their grandchildren and doing special things with them.
It was sold out. One family with girls all dressed up in velvet dresses and boys in white shirts & bow ties hadn’t gotten tickets ahead and were turned away. But I waited at this tiny theatre at Monterey Peninsula College till everyone arrived and got the last seat. I sat next to a six-year-old boy who told me that his first grade teacher was playing the good witch. She was really really funny and the actors combined singing take-offs of rock n’ roll songs with the story. You’d’ve loved it.
One part of the story I surprised me. I still have the red hardcover Grimm’s Fairy Tales book my grandmother gave me when I was in the fifth grade. But I had forgotten all of the parts of the fairy tale since I first heard it over 60 years ago. The narrator of the play said at the beginning that the king and queen were very very sad, and the whole kingdom wept and was very very sad too, that they were unable to have a child. Over and over, perhaps three times, they moaned and groaned and lamented about not having a baby.
I thought this was a little overdone and out of date. There are lots of couples today that choose not to have children, and get on with their lives just fine. Some might have medical reasons for not getting pregnant. They get used to the idea and either adopt a baby, or do other things to occupy their free time. But I guess that wasn’t the way back then, especially when the mom and dad were a king and queen with a whole kingdom to run and pass on to their children.
So I just let that go, and enjoyed the rest of the show with the other kids and parents.
I love you. GRANDMA PAT