Last weekened T. and I, accompanied by two neighborhood friends, went to a performance of The Sound of Music, put on by a local college. I had taken T. to one play before--Peter Pan. She was young then, about four years old, and while she still remembers the play, it's one thing to see a play at four, and quite another to see it when you are eight, and you love musicals, and you wake up each morning belting out songs from Annie, or The Sound of Music, and your new favorite book is Theater Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild.
I hadn't been to a theatrical production in ages. I might have been as excited as T., and when the lights went dark, and the curtain rustled a little in that magical hold-your-breath moment before it was raised, I had to give T.'s arm a little excited squeeze.
There were good parts, and not-so-good parts. One of the actors had clearly strained his voice over the previous days of performing (we were at the last show), and Maria seemed tired and too-serious ("Mama," T. whispered to me right before the intermission, "Maria is supposed to be happy"). But I don't think T. minded at all and, in the end, I didn't mind one bit, either.
After we dropped our friends off at their house, I pulled away, and looked in the rearview mirror just in time to see T.'s face dissolve into tears.
"What's wrong?" I asked in alarm.
She was so sad that it was over--that performance she'd been waiting for so long, that she'd scored the days leading up to it off on her wall calendar. It was done, the magic faded, and in its wake just a rainy, ordinary Sunday evening.