Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Annie and Autographs

When I was a young kid and had a sick day I would always have my mom rent me Annie starring Carol Burnett (she's a genius) and I would watch the musical numbers over and over and over.  I always felt much better the next day ready to go to school and take recess by storm as I casted my friends in my very own production.   I came to the playground prepared having spent the day before doing my own personal homework and would hand out to my cast their very own handwritten lyrics along with their lines.  

(please somebody tell me I wasn't the only one who did things like this at recess)

Annie is just one of those musicals that should be a part of every one's upbringing and when the girls were 2 I finally made it part of theirs.  I always dreamed of one day getting a chance to see it performed on Broadway and this past Thanksgiving while watching the Macy's Parade I saw one of the songs performed and began dreaming of one day taking the girls.  For Christmas my husband decided to make that dream come true and he told me when we went to New York I could take them. 

We decided to leave Daddy behind and brought cousin Emily with us for some extra special girl time.  

I always buy my tickets from the TKTS discount booths, I have to make a special trip to stand in line (sometimes in the soaking rain) but I'm able to get better seats then if I had payed full price online.  I wasn't really sure where we would be placed I only knew that the ticket lady said that they would be good seats, so imagine our delight when we ended up here.

Yup, second row!  It was a raised level, not quite a box but close.  We were at eye level with the actors, had a special window at our feet where we could watch the orchestra play and the best part, nobody sat in the row in front of us!  We could see the actors sweat!  

The show was awesome!  The girls were singing along and screaming wildly after each number.  My favorite was when Miss. Hannigan sings "Little Girls."  The choreography was outstanding, all the little orphans danced around like marionettes.  

The show ended around 10:00, the girls where wired with live theatre adrenaline and begging to get some autographs.  So we bundled up and stood outside in the cold as the girls waiting patiently with their playbills to be signed.  I think the evening show worked in our favor because there wasn't as many people waiting outside as there had been at Newsies.  At Newsies there were lots more people and they girls were too short for the actors to notice them, here they were right up against the gate and even the same height as one of the orphans.

One of the orphans mentioned to someone about having been in Billy Elliot.  I looked at the girls and said, "Hey girls, she was in Billy Elliot with your teacher Miss. Natalie!"  A bunch of the other orphans said, "You have Miss. Natalie?  We had Miss. Natalie too!"  How cool is that to have had the same teacher?

The actress that played Molly was the same size as the girls and she looked at the girls and said, "oh my gosh you girls are so cute!"  Emily and I had to laugh because she appeared to be the same age.  We asked her how old she was and she said "I'm 8, I'll be 9 next week."

It was interesting watching these young kids, they walked through the line autographing the playbills and when they reached the end of the line they met their mothers and other siblings and walked off through the streets home to their normal lives.

Here we are meeting Annie!  Coppelia didn't believe it was her because her hair was no longer red.  Coppelia looked at her and said, "who are you?"  Very sweetly she said, "I'm Annie, I know the hair is confusing."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Visting the Statue of Liberty and Remembering my Grandpa

The one thing the girls really wanted to do for their birthday was see The Statue of Liberty.  Unfortunately we missed the last boat by 2 minutes so it wasn't till Saturday that we were able to take the ferry.  My feelings were indifferent for visiting the statue and it was only because our little crazy's wanted to see it so badly that we made the effort...and I'm so glad we did.

I began this blog with the purpose of documenting my process of passing down a legacy to my children.  Just as my mother taught me to play the piano and use artistic expression I will continue to poor into my children those skills along with the gifts I was blessed with.  One very special person who I see reflected in my family, and hopefully someone people can see reflected in me was the man I had the privilege of calling Grandpa.

My Grandpa was an immigrant from Holland.  He was born in 1929 and grew up during WW2.  His life was a story you would want to read about in books.  His mother died when he was 10, he left home at the age of 14 with only a 5th grade education and got a job working on a farm.  When he was 17 he set sail for America.

I remember him telling us about his journey to America and him seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.  As I stood there looking up at the statue I couldn't help but remember all those stories he shared with me and feel a new connection with him and responsibility to pass those stories to my children, because his growing up and being an immigrant is a part of my story too and therefore a part of my children's story.  So as we sat on the boat I told the girls about their Great Grandfather and him seeing that statue for the first time.

It's been a week since we visited Lady Liberty and I feel like a treasure trove of stories has just been discovered.  I'm having fun telling my girls all about their Great Grandpa and hopefully in the process Coppelia Kai Ray is discovering just how special her middle names are.  I hope someday the girls can say, with the same amount of pride as my Grandpa taught me, "If you ain't dutch you ain't much!"

A few days ago I found this video from his memorial.  In the middle of it you can hear him talk about his coming to America.   Just the sound of his voice with that heavy dutch accent makes me smile.  I was a lucky little kid to grow up with such a wonderful man and a blessed child to be a part of his legacy.