This morning, while watching the news, a commercial came on for the Atlanta Ballet Nutcracker. The Boy asked what it was.
“It’s the Nutcracker, son. The ballet.”
“Oh. Is that the thing you are making us go see in New York?”
“Sorta, only it’s the Rockettes…a little more exciting.”
“Ok. Good. Cuz I’m not going to see some people dressed in stupid tights, dancing around.”
For the next 15 minutes, we debated me making him go to the ballet at some point in his life and him definitely not going. “Son! You have to experience everything in life, whether you like it or not. You go to the ballet once and check it off your list. If you don’t like it, don’t go again.” According to him, he won’t go again because he won’t be going the first time. *exasperated sigh*
Understanding that the world is ever shrinking (thanks internet), it is imperative for kids today to experience something outside of the everyday mundane crap collection of…well…crap. Various foods, spices, activities, places, people, events and, yes, even ballets. When I was his age, I was reading Poe and Shakespeare just because. I was going to the symphony alone and listening to Beethoven for entertainment. I have not seen the world yet, nor have I tasted every food there is to taste but that doesn’t mean I am not open to it (well…except for eating bugs). All I am asking is for my children to do the same.
I understand the ballet probably is not his first choice for entertainment, but there is so much more to life outside of ESPN and Call of Duty and NBA 2k whatever. Some of the most brilliant, creative minds have been touched by something outside of their norm. The Girl is easy going. She will try anything once. But him? Not so much. I did get him to try cross stitch, which was awesome. It lasted all of 15 minutes, but he tried it. I am dragging him to see the Rockettes (kicking and screaming) but he will have experienced it. By accident I got him to watch How To Get Away With Murder–certainly not something to add to his culture toolbox, however it is outside of his box. And I am still confused on how he ended up with an affection for The Gap Band and Charlie Wilson, but I will gladly take it.
We ended the ballet debate with him saying he did not want to see men dancing around in dresses and tights to “that boring music” and putting his size 11 down on the matter. I allowed him to assert his almost 14 year old manhood, wisely picking my battle, and putting my hands up, conceding….today…but there is always a tomorrow and he will be seated next to me, watching men in tights by surrender or by force.