Wednesday, October 25, 2017

River.Swamp.Cave.Mountain


Last week I had an amazing opportunity. I was invited to go see a play with one of my kids, and then write what I thought of it. 

I feel a little bad as I had intentions to go straight home and write about it, but it happened to fall on the day Keith had his birthday party. So I got home and had to get ready for birthday festivities. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The play is designed for children between the ages of 4-8. I decided I would take Faye since she and I don't get a lot of one on one time together. For some reason, about half an hour before it was time to leave, Faye decided she would rather stay home and clean. Whatever. That was probably better for Jeffrey, anyway. And Beth was more than happy to fill the sudden vacancy! So we got ready and ran out the door. I was extremely apprehensive as it is a 45 minute or so drive to the city, and I had just fed Kip right before we loaded up the van. I just prayed he would be quiet through the whole thing.

We got there, barely in time, and with Kip strapped to my chest, we headed in to the theater, not knowing anything about the play other than the title.


As it unfolded, I was very impressed. It is a play about 2 kids (cast: 2) who have recently lost their grandmother. Isabella is 8, and her little brother J.J. is 5. Together they go on a journey, an adventure, as they sort through their feelings about grief and death. I thought it was very cleverly put together. The play was full of high energy and incredibly relatable for kids. The play explores the theme of death from a child's perspective. As they went on their adventure the relived their memories of their grandmother, and the things they taught them, which ultimately helped them through their grief. 



I found it interesting that each place they went was relatable to a stage of grief. The river was sorrow, the swamp was anger, the cave was guilt or fear, and the mountain was acceptance.



Beth just glowed through the whole performance, and loved it, even though she hadn't had any recent experiences with death. After the play was over, we did get to talk about her two cousins who had died when they were babies, and her great aunt Mimi. When it ended, Sharah (my friend who had invited me to the event) went up and invited all of the children onto the stage where each of those feelings were talked about, and then we did a feelings Hokey Pokey. Beth had a lot of fun!



Surprisingly, Kip stayed asleep through the whole thing! When the play and activity were over, out in the foyer they had set up tables with art supplies on them. There were cute little tags that the kids could decorate. Grief tags, they were called. They looked like luggage tags, about that big, maybe a little bigger. There were also papers they could draw on, and the 2 actors came out and mingled with the kids and talked with them.

What a great experience for the kids! I am so excited that they are touring! It is with Plan B Theatre. The show is specifically for grades K-3 but also great for 4 year olds. You can catch it here:

Public performances, Salt Lake City Library branches (FREE, no tickets required)
  • Thursday, October 19, 2pm- Main Library Story Room, 210 E 400 S, SLC
  • Friday, October 20, 2pm- Glendale Branch, 1375 S. Concord St. SLC
  • Saturday, November 4, 11am - Sweet Branch, 455 F Street, SLC
  • Saturday November 11, 2 pm - Chapman Branch, 577 S 900 W, SLC
  • Saturday November 18, 11am - Marmalade Branch, 280 W 500 N SLC
  • Saturday November 18, 2pm - Anderson-Foothill Branch, 1135 S 2100 E, SLC
Public Performances, Davis County Libraries, Presented by Davis Arts Council (Free, no tickets required)
  • Thursday, October 26, 4pm - Centerville Library Auditorium, 45 S 400 W, Centerville
  • Friday, October 27, 4pm - Central Davis County Library Auditorium, 155 Wasatch Drive, Layton
  • Friday, November 17, 4pm - Roy Library Black Box Theatre, 2039 W 4000 S, Roy
After the play, while Beth colored and drew pictures on the Grief tags, I was able to feed Kip. We visited with some of the people who made the play possible, and then we headed for home.

Traveling with a newborn really is quite tricky. I had to time everything between his feedings. We stopped at Kneaders for lunch, and talked and enjoyed each other's company. I like, when I am out with my kids, to give them my undivided attention. I try really hard to focus on them, what they are saying, and their experiences. Beth is really funny and kept talking about the Sweet Tooth Fairy because I had taken her into that magic shop on our last Beth/Mommy date. She is such a special girl, so full of happiness and smiles! Of course we went there, and got a cupcake for her, and then a cookie for Keith, Faye and Vince. And then we went home, because we still had to get ready for Keith's party.

I am so happy I was able to go to the play, and see (and learn) such a great way for kids to process their grief, or even any other big emotion! I love that they talked about sometimes we feel big emotions and so we want to express them in a big way, and that is okay. Big emotions are sometimes scary, but are always okay. I hope that Beth could feel the biggness of my love for her on our little outing, though!






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