Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Feb. 16

Sometimes you have a great weekend. We just had one of those. It was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

It was Valentine’s Day weekend. This is the holiday full of sweets…”sweet” candy, “sweet” flowers and “sweet” jewelry. But instead of exchanging these sweets, we opted for a “spoonful of sugar” in the “sweet” musical form.

The Broadway musical “Mary Poppins” was at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha for a few weeks. I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to expose the kids to the theater. I think it’s important for kids to be well-rounded. Our 8-year-old son LOVES sports and has gone to Husker football and basketball games. But, he is also taking piano lessons and our 5-year-old daughter takes dance. Music is important to us, and we want our kids to develop the love for the arts, too.

You know, a few weeks ago, Jon and I judged a chili cook-off at a local church. One of the judges was Mark Traynowicz, a former All-American center for the Husker football team. He actually was the center when Nebraska played Miami for the national title in 1984. Mark was asking Jacob what activities he participates in. Jacob mentioned that he doesn’t like piano much. Then Mark said, “I wish I could play the piano. That’s something you can always do.”

There you have it! A football great telling a young boy that music is important. I don’t know what Jacob was thinking at that moment, but I hope it sinks in someday.

That’s why introducing kids to the arts is so important. It’s something they can appreciate for a lifetime. And I think a gift that’s an experience will be something they’ll remember for a lifetime.

A recent “Oprah” show focused on happiness and what makes people truly happy. The author on the show said that material items like shoes or a toy may only make us happy, on average, for about nine months. While the happiness from a vacation or an event continues to grow over the years.

So I hope our Valentine’s Day gift of “Mary Poppins” will be a special memory for my kids for years to come. I hope they remember how they dressed up for the performance, how opulent the theater looked and how the set had this magical “pop-up book” appearance. I’ll always remember hearing Olivia’s little voice singing along to “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…”

And our weekend did go down “in the most delightful way.”

I'd love to hear your ideas for “experience gifts” or how you have introduced the arts to your children.



About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.

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