So I’m sitting with Max , who will be 4.5 tomorrow. He’s drinking Chai tea with milk and simple syrup to sweeten, (his request, although he told me I put too much milk in it) and I’m drinking wine. He asks me to tell him the story of Romeo and Juliet again. Jeff is currently in a production playing Romeo and he visited rehearsal yesterday, since then I’ve told him the story at least 4 times. At first I winced at the explaining the ending but I thought I’d better prepare him if he wants to see the show, and after 4 or 5 times it doesn’t feel much different from saying “and they lived happily ever after”.
So I tell him the story and we discuss the play and actors and I ask him if he’d like to learn a bit. He’s very excited so I teach him the prologue (he was excited to memorize the first four lines). We discuss staging and how actors “die” and fight safely… I pulled up YouTube and we watched a handful of scenes from the Zeffirelli version, some non-gun parts of the Baz Luhrmann version (the irony not escape me that I have a problem with guns but not a problem with a story involving suicide) and for fun, Tybalt’s death in a ballet version of the play.
He told me that he would like to see dad in Romeo and Juliet, he didn’t have a problem with the violence because he knew it wasn’t real. He saw dad’s fight rehearsal against a nearly finished set, jeans rolled up exposing his tights and dance shoes. All he asked was that I warn him when I thought there might be kissing so he could close his eyes since kissing is gross. Fair enough. We still might wait until closing.
Then asked me what other words William Shakespeare made up… like “eyeball”. I had run out. I also forgot when I even told him Shakespeare made up words. I told him we’ll look for more tomorrow.
Then I realized…
what am earth am I doing to prepare him for kindergarten?