Children and the opera

My husband is taking the kids to the Opera on Friday night. Lohengrin. It is a tale of love and envy and sorrow. We have the book, we have the DVD, now they get to see the real life production. My kids love to watch opera, why? 1) because their daddy loves it, shares it with them and is enthusiastic about it 2) because we have children's story books with the opera stories, so they are familiar with the stories and 3) because it is loud and large and has great costumes.

We follow a similar pattern for all kinds of subjects - providing the opportunities for as much as we can while enthusiastically supporting all their interests. As a result my kids interest are wide, they don't know it is uncool to be interested both in sports and art, to be a jock and an indie.

They love poetry, art, reading, travel, juggling, time with family, church, their friends, music, gymnastics, karate, drawing, running wild in the forest, swimming, biking, going to the theater, singing, building houses on the porch, math, science, crafts, movies.... Of course, each of my children are drawn to slightly different things, Matthew to juggling more so than Lily; Lily to drawing more so than Laura; Laura to the opera and jazz music more so than Annie; Annie to storytelling more so than Matthew and so on. We recognize that and nudge them gently in the direction that seems to resonate with them most.

Like most parents I know today we spend hours talking about the kids, their personalities, interests, future. We are completely invested in who they are and are becoming.

I so wish I could go back in time and be like my kids. I remember being so bored as a child, with little interest in anything. My parents believed the schools would teach me about life and somehow magically I would find my path.

Eventually I did, I am here, a mother who does collage art and some photography and writing, but how I wish I could have found this path earlier. I am determined to be the adult version of my kids, I continually search for enthusiastic models for my life experience. I have written my book, hoping that it will be a model for someone, a young mother who wants to find the time to do art. If I can help one person find the path for them then all this work will be worth it.

In preparation for the Opera, Lily made her own illustrative book of Lohengrin. I used my new 'Bind It All' machine to bind her book.


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