I finally saw Annie on Broadway.
It's moments like this where I see the fundamental differences between myself and Boo. Boo really enjoyed the show. When she goes to the theater, she's most interested in the technical aspects, and she gets engaged watching what goes on so that she can figure out how everything was done.
I really enjoyed the show, too. And I am still hoping that someday I'll be discovered and cast as one of the orphans. In the meantime, I've been dancing around my house singing "Little Girls" in full Broadway belt. I suppose I have a slightly greater chance of being discovered in my living room and cast as Miss Hannigan.
We grow up thinking that everything we do and feel is normal. For me, that meant horses and theater and books. My brain runs a constant narrative in my head, describing in the third person whatever I'm doing. (These days it tends to take the form of Facebook posts.) Frequently this comes with background music and often appropriate song and dance numbers will be inserted, to be performed or kept secret, depending on my surroundings.
I suppose I knew long ago that not everyone has this way of experiencing life. But it's interesting to raise a child who is so similar to me in many ways (bright, full of ideas, loves books, stubborn as hell) but whose driving passions are fundamentally different. It's not that I have a problem with it--Boo loves some really interesting things--it's just fascinating to know someone so intimately and to see her react to some things in a way that's completely different to the way I reacted as a child. Or the way I react now.
For me, seeing any live theater, really, but Broadway especially, and musicals double-especially, feeds my soul in a way that nothing else does. I relate to every actor on the stage. I suck whatever energy I can from every aspect of the performance. I watch and I learn and I absorbed and when I get home I want to reenact the entire show from start to finish. Just let me near a theater in any capacity and I light up like a Christmas tree. Spending time with horses, or any animals, really, quiets my soul. I'm able to tune in to their rhythms, and when I'm with a calm animal, I get calmer, too. When I went to riding camp, I used to love just spending time with the herd, watching them and learning about their interactions, learning to understand their body language. I could (and still can) spend hours with animals, just being together and being company for each other. I'm not saying that I have any magical powers or anything, but I've always been told that I communicate well with animals. It's just a way of attending to the signals they're sending that seems to be a talent I have.
When I see Boo engage her passions, I know that she must be experiencing something similar, but of course all of this is so internal that it can't really be shared. But I can see her engage with certain activities in a way that seems...different. More, somehow.
I'm glad I get to share my passions with Boo, even if she doesn't experience them the same way I do. It's interesting to note her surprise that I don't feel passionately about them. After all, she's a kid, and everything she does is normal.