December reruns

Last week I wrote about DC anxiously awaiting “Peter Pan Live” on Thursday.

His anticipation of the production led me to remember the previous years production of the “Sound of Music Live”, which in turn led to a repeat my Sound of Music post from December 2013.

(By the way, DC’s review of “Peter Pan Live” – “Two eyes closed” – he fell asleep after only an hour… take from that what you will).

The “Sound of Music” post contained photos of a Sound of Music sing-a-long we attended with friends. That and the fact that DC had been watching “Grease” this weekend, led me to the “Grease – Sing – a – Long” we also attended.

Because everything is related and this is the way mind works…….

From March 2014:

“We Go Together……..

…like Ramma lamma lamma Ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever like Shoo-wop sha whada whadda Yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop That’s the way it should be
Waooo Yeah!”

GreaseSR

These Kids Rock! They really do!

That was originally all I intended to say. I wasn’t really considering writing about this, but……. as I was thinking about just how proud I am of each and every one of them and just how much DC and his friends just rise to the occasion and always have a great time together,  I just had to mention the fact that not only does DC have the best friends anyone could hope for…. I do as well.

As I wrote in an earlier post:

***I am fortunate to have friends that are willing to go all out for something that DC loves so much; we all took a line from that song and dressed appropriately for the Sing-A-Long. He and his friends had a ball and I think after the initial embarrassment, my friends did as well.***

DC and I are very fortunate to have these people in our life. I am not just talking about the sing-a-long we just attended, but in general, these people are just the best, THE BEST!

DC and his friend BB love Grease. BB is a long-time fan, DC became a fan because of him. When I heard the local theater had scheduled a Grease Sing-A-Long, I knew we just had to attend. Everyone agreed to attend and then I proceeded to harass them for months about costumes. I will admit that I can be a little bit high pressure when it comes to costumes (just a little bit), but I am sure they expected it and if they didn’t, they put up with me anyway. I am sure the last thing the adults wanted to do was to wear a costume again (Halloween is over, can’t we get a break?) but they agreed.

But…. did they expect to be wearing toilet paper rolls? I doubt it. I think they actually thought I was joking when I first brought it up. They quickly realized that I never joke about costumes so the “roll collection” process began. BB and his Mom, Donna were not able to attend the Sound of Music event with us, so as BB was looking forward to wearing his “Grease Garb”, I don’t think Donna realized that she would also be in costume as well until about a week before the event.

We collected our toilet paper and paper towel rolls and headed to Tonya’s house one Sunday afternoon. Tonya being the craft genius and glue gun wizard, was able to figure out just how to do this.

Talk about “Above and Beyond”; she sat there for hours gluing toilet paper rolls to foam strips! All that we had to do was supply our heads.

Glue Gun Wizard

They looked fantastic! They were unexpectedly comfortable too!

We headed out to the theater on Thursday night in single-digit weather – not wanting coats to muck up the costumes – it was COLD! We had 10 seats in the first row of the upper orchestra section. Coincidentally a friend of mine had the rest of the seats in that row! Together, we made the best row of costumes there (my opinion only, but I firmly believe this to be true 🙂 ).

We sang, we danced, we had many, many photos taken of us as a group and of us with strangers. We were interviewed and photographed by the local news paper. Those under the delusion they would not be noticed, were wrong.
The “kids” had so much fun singing, dancing and using the props provided by the theater. They just ate up all of the attention they were getting.
The adults had a great time, singing and dancing as well..

except for this guy……..

Except this guy - Grease Sing A Long - Beauty School Drop Out

Those still under the delusion of anonymity, had that shattered when they were plastered all over the news on Saturday.

The Theater's Facebook Page

The Theater's Facebook Page

As the show was on a Thursday night and not on a weekend, we weren’t able to go out to eat in full dress afterwards – this had to be some consolation to the adults anyway……

But all joking aside, we did have a wonderful time. I can’t say enough about all of them.

Walking around in public wearing toilet paper rolls….

the truest measure of friendship….

Thanks to all of you!

*Thanks to my friend *Al at work, who always comes up with a fantastic photo of our outings

“Mom, we have to see Peter Pan Live on ‘Firsday’ – Please!”

DC loves Peter Pan. (If you are not yet aware of this, please read “Second Star to the Right and hang a left”)

He has just discovered that NBC will attempt a live performance of  Peter Pan (Peter Pan Live) this Thursday night. It is already written on the calendar so there is no way out of it. I was required to add it to the calendar the moment he saw the commercial.

Last year, I suffered through “The Sound of Music Live” and I was really hoping to avoid “Peter Pan Live” this year. Yes, I knew it was coming but I remembered that they released the “Sound of Music Live” DVD in time for Christmas last year, so yes, I pre-ordered the “Peter Pan Live” DVD this year because no, I don’t want him to miss out on it altogether, I just really didn’t want to have to watch it myself as he watches his DVD’s in his room or on his laptop. My plan really didn’t work out all that well…. he saw the commercial.

So come Thursday night, you know where we will be.

In anticipation of Peter Pan Live, and in remembrance of  ” The Sound of Music Live” –  here is my post from December 2013:

How do you solve a problem like……

My Favorite Things

One of DC’s favorite musicals – and there are plenty- is the Sound Of Music.

He was introduced to the Sound Of Music by his cousin Erica, who gave him his first copy of the movie in VHS form when he was 6 or 7. I never imagined he would watch it, let alone learn every word to every song, but he did. It is still one of his favorites.

He has the DVDs, the soundtrack, the album insert,  books (which were not easy to find), Christmas ornaments, music box,  he dressed as “Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes”

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes.

for the “Sound Of Music Sing-A-Long” a few years back….. you get the picture…… he loves it.

Girls in white dresses...... Snowflakes.... Silver White Winters/Melt into Spring...... Favorite Things.....

***I am fortunate to have friends that are willing to go all out for something that DC loves so much; we all took a line from that song and dressed appropriately for the Sing-A-Long. He and his friends had a ball and I think after the initial embarrassment, my friends did as well.***

A few weeks ago I found myself being tortured with “The Sound of Music Live”**. My fault! I told him it was on! I then regretted that for the next 2 hours.  DC informed me over and over again that this was “Not Julie Andrews”, but he loved it anyway.

While I was trying to endure this version, my mind went back to DC’s time in the school system and more specifically, the mainstream portion of his time there……

….this is the way my mind works……

I am all for inclusion and mainstreaming, IF it is done properly. In Dc’s case, there were many battles over many years because it was not.

Just a few examples: His history class was studying Apartheid and DC was coloring pictures of Africa.

His history class was studying Nazi Germany and he was sent off to watch “The Sound of Music” (because that’s a true and complete picture of Nazi Germany) .

Inclusion? –  I don’t think so! I understand that these concepts were somewhat out of his reach, but if nothing else, shouldn’t this inclusion include social interaction with peers and some sort of participation in and with the class? How did they call this “Inclusion” when he was coloring in the back of the room or in another room watching an entirely different movie?

As we were watching “The Sound of Music Live” and singing “Edelweiss” together – as is mandatory, I remembered one teacher, years ago; his second grade teacher, Mrs. Fair* . She went out of her way to not only include DC in the class BUT, believe it or not, to also include the entire class in activities that DC enjoyed. She made him a part of this class. He was not an observer or off on the side lines, he was a part of the class.

I can give you many examples of the things she did to achieve this, but the one that came to mind that night was; She was aware of DC’s love for the “Sound Of Music” and his love for “Edelweiss”. She had the entire class learn all of the words to the song and once or twice a week, she and DC would lead the class in song. He loved it!  She made sure he was part of this class, she made sure his “inclusion” was not just one- sided, she made sure he was comfortable with his classmates and better yet, they were comfortable with him. He just adored her.

It is unfortunate that she was the exception and not the norm. He still remembers her all these years later and the Sound of Music is still one of his “Favorite Things”

 

*Name changed

**Yes, he is getting the DVD and soundtrack for Christmas, but he can watch/listen to it in his room

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Star to the Right……… and hang a left.

Too Pay

DC and I were driving to the store this past weekend. He was listening to the Peter Pan CD that he had checked out of the library a few days earlier. Like many of the books he borrows each week, he already owns this CD, but still he must check it out from the library. The “library” CD’s are to be listened to in the car only – this is one of those “official DC rules” that he makes up in his head. I’m sure there are very good reasons for the rules he comes up with, but I really don’t know what these reasons are or where these rules come from, but he follows them to the letter – always.

DC has every version of Peter Pan imaginable. He has the old black and white Mary Martin version, the Cathy Rigby version, the Disney version, the non-animated version, Peter Pan that came out a few years ago (maybe more – I have no sense of time), Finding Neverland, the sequels to the Disney version and Hook. He has copies of the soundtracks to all of them as well. The only Peter Pan themed movie he would never watch was Hook. I do not know why but he refused to watch it. It happens to be my favorite version of Peter Pan so I really tried for years to get him to watch it.  I’ve had watch Peter Pan for more than 20 years,  and at times it would have been nice to watch the version I enjoy.

Obviously this was not one of “DC’s rules”.

Somewhere along the line DC discovered that Robin Williams – the voice of the Genie, was in Hook – that was all he needed to figure out and now it is also one of his favorites. Everything is related, and once he is able to relate a character to another he likes, he’s “hooked”.

(One day I will write a post about how everything is related. It probably won’t make a lot of sense to you, but it will sure be fun for me to write)

After listening to “Tender Shepard” six times, I told DC he had to move on to a different song. He did, but we soon moved back to “Tender Shepard”. This song is from the Mary Martin/Cathy Rigby version of Peter Pan. This version seems to be his all-time favorite. Zoning out while listening to this song….AGAIN, I started to think about Hurricane Irene back in 2011, because

……. it is all related.

It was Friday, August 26, 2011. I was on my way to my first appointment of the day to look at a few MORE day programs. This is the way every Friday that summer had been spent. I generally have Fridays off during the summer so it was a perfect opportunity to go and check out day/work programs for DC, as he would be finished with school and his transition program the following June (2012). On the way there, I received a phone call from Doug.

“Listen, we are supposed to be getting a big storm here over the weekend – do you want to just take off for Vegas for the weekend?”

“WHAT???”

Many of you know that DC is terrified of storms. I don’t think it is the actual storm, it is the fear of losing power, that scares him. This storm was  supposed to be a big one – a hurricane.

  • Okay….. it’s Friday morning.
  • I’m on my way to a meeting.
  • I can’t make this kind of decision that quickly- I just can’t think about this now.
  • But, I can’t wait too long because all of the flights will be booked.(This is me, not thinking about this now)
  • But, if we lose power I’m going to be sorry we didn’t go.
  • I have to concentrate on looking at programs, I can’t think about this now.
  • If we fly there, what if they close the airports later and we can’t get back on time for work and school? (Still not thinking about this now)
  • Maybe we can go somewhere closer?
  • What if we decide on somewhere closer and the storm shifts direction?

I called him back and suggested that he try to find somewhere closer and I would consider it.

After my first meeting, and failing miserably at  “I can’t think about this right now” – I called Doug back. He was checking the weather and the path of the storm and decided on Pennsylvania – it may be rainy there but it should not be as bad as they were reporting it could get here.

After my third meeting, I went home, packed quickly (I must say I did a much better job packing with no notice than when I plan for a scheduled vacation) and when DC came home Doug came over, picked us up and we were off. I didn’t have any great expectations about this weekend. I really thought the weather would be bad and we would be sitting in the hotel room most of the time, and I did explain this to DC. As long as he was going to a hotel (his favorite) and there would be power, television and food, he was all for it!

We did consider, although it was never mentioned to DC -Hershey Park – weather permitting. A scheduled trip to Hershey Park a few months earlier had been a bit of a disaster – something I will not be writing about – and a do-over would be fantastic. But as I said, I didn’t have any expectations at all.

Arriving in PA, DC was happy to be in a hotel room. He took his favorite spot at the desk and happily edited his books on Friday night.

Saturday was a little bit overcast but a very nice day. We decided to take our chances with the Hershey Park do-over.

We could not have planned for a better day or a better time! DC got to go on all of the rides he missed during the “de-aster” (DC-speak) trip.

Hershey Park

There was a total of 5 minutes of rain while we were at the park, even that didn’t really bother him as it normally would.  It cleared up quickly and we continued on exploring the rest of the park.

rain

Onward to the “Chocolate Factory” (Chocolate World). DC would happily skip the park and just go to Chocolate World. “Chocolate Factory” = Willy Wonka. There is not a single “Wonka” anything there, but it’s a Chocolate Factory and all Chocolate Factories belong to Willy Wonka, period…. DC’s rule.

We almost didn’t make it there on our first trip, and when we did, I held my breath the entire time. It was wonderful to be able to take him back there relaxed and breathing normally.

Chocolate Factory

On the way back to the hotel, I spotted a sign outside of the Hershey Theater for Peter Pan staring Cathy Rigby. We had taken DC to see Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan when he was much younger and he just loved it. I noticed that there was a performance scheduled for Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. The forecast was calling for rain on Sunday so we thought we’d check to see if there were tickets still available for Sunday afternoon. We decided to check on line when we got back to the hotel. I didn’t want to mention it to DC until we knew, so walking into the box office was not an option.

It turns out that there were tickets available!

On Sunday morning on the way to breakfast, making his trip the “best trip ever” – he found a bookstore.

B&N PA

The play was early enough so that we could still leave at a reasonable time to get home and sleep before work for me and the first day of school for DC on Monday.

Peter Pan

DC loved the show, loved it! They announced during the curtain call that Cathy Rigby would be available for photos and autographs in the lobby immediately after the show was over! Could this get any better for him?!

If I had planned this trip for months, it could not have worked out better than this last minute, impromptu, Hurricane trip worked out!

DC met Cathy Rigby, had his picture taken with her, got her autograph and sat on her lap – I did try to stop him from sitting on her lap because DC is a BIG boy, but I was too late and she didn’t seem to mind. Her signed poster still hangs in his room.

How much better could all of this have worked out? I am still amazed about how smoothly this weekend went.

After the play we headed home, from our “Escape from Irene” weekend.

We arrived to find that the first day of school had already been canceled due to the power outages. It turned out that our side of town never lost power at all.

Two months later, we wouldn’t be so lucky, but for now we had just returned  home from – in DC’s words – “The Best Trip Ever”.