Pardon the picture quality… I’m not so awesome with the iPhone yet.

I took Charlie to his first play on Tuesday.

It was surreal, holding his little hand as we walked up to the Orpheum doors with him asking “Where’s the picture of the elf? Where’s the picture of the elf?” As we sat in the seats, waiting for the show to begin, Charlie’s eyes were huge and a little scared, and you could see that, despite the fact that his bedtime had already come and gone, he could barely even handle how excited he was.

I remember feeling the exact same way when my parents took me to see Peter Pan at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. UNK had brought in some people from Vegas (I think? Correct me if I’m wrong!) to help with the fly system, and I remembering it just being magic.I only have a few vivid images of a scene with Tigerlily, and the scene where Tinkerbell drinks the poison . . . and also meeting the woman who played Tigerlily after the show, but I hope I never lose those memories. I’m not going to get all sappy and say that “That was the moment in which I knew I would love Theatre,” because I think that having two Theatre majors as parents and hanging out with all the cool high school kids during many nights of my dad’s play rehearsals might have had something to do with that. All I know is that I was so excited I almost couldn’t take it, and, after it was over, all I wanted to do was fly.

Charlie did surprisingly well for a little kid with more daily energy than I’ve had in the last three years combined. The music was a little too loud, but once the show got going and he saw SANTA! he seemed to settle in. He spent most of the first act on my lap, and then, after the offer of a snack, he sat pleasantly in his seat until Buddy’s angry dad made him cry right before intermission.

Womp, womp.

Luckily, after a bathroom break and some leg stretching, the musical number that opened Act II was fun enough that the show was, I think, redeemed for him. When the Santas stopped dancing, however, I could see his little head start to droop, and he snuggled his Buddy the Elf doll just a little tighter . . . and then he was out light a light. I thought about taking him home so he could sleep more comfortably, but, then I realized I would get to sit through an actual Broadway show without worrying about anyone but myself and the little sleeping face that was drooling on my arm . . . so, yeah, we stayed. The show was so enjoyable, and I had one of my favorite nights ever with one of my favorite guys ever. It was absolutely a win all around.

I really want to thank Kim, Omaha Performing Arts, and Elf for the tickets and gift package. Charlie’s been carrying around that doll like crazy, and has also been using his Etch-a-Sketch in the car as a map-drawer to help me find my way to places we need to go. Obviously, I don’t know how we navigated Omaha without it. Lucy sneaks some time with Buddy the Elf when Charlie’s not looking . . . but that never lasts long.

I don’t know if Charlie’s going to be a Theatre guy when he gets older. At this rate, it looks like he will be pursuing a career in couch cushion gymnastics, but who knows? He may love it, he may not, but I think this was the perfect way to dip his toes in the water.