Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I Will Be Dragging Her There, I Promise You.

via kevinhenkes.com

Sure enough, I start talking about shorts and (on Facebook) wearing Minnetonka mocs with no socks again because it's spring now, and the weather service issues some kind of winter storm alert for later this week. What?? I just washed the kidlets' snowpants and packed them away in the upstairs closet. (A foolish, foolish move, on April 8th. I don't know what I was thinking.)

Let's change the subject. Snow in April is just too depressing.

So, yesterday a promotional brochure came in the mail from a children's theatre up in the city--the one where I took my kids last summer to see the little-kid version of Seussical (we all loved it). We can't go to the theatre very often, because tickets are very expensive, so I wasn't even going to look at the show schedule for 2013. But I grew up doing children's theatre and it still means a lot to me, so of course I couldn't help taking a peek.

I don't even know what all the shows are for the upcoming season, because once I saw the show slated for next September-October, I didn't even look at anything else. You guys, they're doing a stage version of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Now maybe you're not familiar with the children's author Kevin Henkes (but you should be!). But in our house, he's a huge fave. I've loved his little mouse drawings since the girls were toddlers and we would check out his board books from the library. (Oh, that Sheila Rae and her peppermint stick.) When Julia was super-shy and nervous in preschool, her brilliant teacher read Wemberley Worried to her so many times that they both had it memorized. Both girls did "author studies" of Kevin Henkes in their classrooms during the first grade. Julia even wrote a fan letter to Kevin Henkes one time and got a bookmark in response.

I love all Kevin Henkes' books, but Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is my favorite. In addition to perfectly capturing the complex emotions and often irrational reasoning of young children, the book offers one of the most colorful but also the most sensitive and thoughtful picture-book characters--with perhaps the wisest quote--of any I know. The beloved teacher Mr. Slinger, who says calmly and steadily (in a little folded-up note) to chagrined little Lilly, "Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better." This line has been repeated in our household--and in my own head--more times than I can count. (Later on, Lilly happily realizes, "Mr. Slinger was right: It had been a better day." Also a good reminder.)

I jumped up and down and told the girls about the play. Apparently Julia, at almost nine, has decided that picture books are beneath her, because she told me that sounded boring and if I was going to see Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse at the children's theatre, I'd be going by myself.

Excuse me? No way, little girl. You're never too old for the message that tomorrow will be a better day.

(So. Excited.) (Yay!)

No comments: