We took our 24-year-old daughter to see Frozen, the musical. Honestly, we were hesitant to spend the money on the tickets. We just never know what she will enjoy. If you ask her in advance, she often says “no” to offers to do something fun. Her emotional cues can be flat and hard to read. She uses minimal language to describe what she is thinking. Sometimes we have to go for it, so to speak, and try new things with her. I like this picture of her standing with her brother, Nate. She is smiling. But, in full disclosure, it took several clicks to get one where she was smiling. It seemed more like she was tolerating the experience. Maybe the funniest moment came after the musical ended and we got in the car. Her daddy asked, “Anna, what was your favorite part?” She responded without hesitation and with little emotion, “The end.” Maybe she did like the finale scene or the last song, but there is a chance her favorite part was that the whole musical was over, and she could go home. We don’t know which it was or her exact feelings.
Here’s what I do know. We had fun taking Anna and arranging the activity, especially for her. The rest of us enjoyed the performance. And we know by her facial expression she enjoyed at least some scenes or parts of the musical. She seemed tired and slightly annoyed a few times, but she chuckled and smiled at other times. There were elements of surprise with different sights and sounds that seemed to delight her temporarily. She also liked the snacks. Just for these few positive reactions, it was all worth it. She will remember going and understands we wanted to take her to something special.
As her mom, I enjoy the treasure hunt for new ideas we can do with her that will bring her joy. Most likely, not all my ideas will be a hit, but that’s O.K. Part of the fun is helping her experience new things, building memories, and watching closely for those smiles that sneak up on her face.