Monday, August 24, 2009

A balancing act

My family and I went to Edinburgh on Saturday for the Fringe Festival. This was my first Festival and certainly not my last. We had a great time, but I wouldn't go back without glancing at the events schedule first. Upon arrival, we secured a catalog of happenings and it was intimidating! About the size of a phone book, this one catalog contained all the scheduled events for Fringe. We scoured the children's section for something fun to do with the guys and decided on a storytelling session about a half mile away.

We walked across the crowded capital to the venue, purchased tickets and discovered almost immediately upon entering that we were in the wrong place. No, we hadn't unexpectedly walked into an adult film convention or a symposium on hazardous waste disposal - the storytelling session we paid for just turned out not to be what we had expected. Though the event was advertised "for ages 6+" in the catalog, our guys were the only kids in the whole joint who were over four! There were pillows on the floor for toddlers who wanted to flop around or take a nap. My husband and I noticed the potential age-inappropriateness of the event right away, but quietly decided to tough it out for a little while and see how the story shook out.

The story, about a bear who traveled all over the world and had many adventures in his eventful bear life, was just bear-ly age-appropriate for my eight-year-old SS, but not at all right for my ten-year-old SS. My husband and I were sat right behind them and we could see how much they were straining to maintain the illusion of being interested in the story. Poor guys! They were as well-mannered as could be for two young dudes who had clearly been mismatched with this event.

My older SS will be eleven in just a few weeks. Storytelling hours with stuffed animals and pillows on the floor are totally not his thing anymore. It's a transitional time for both of these guys and their dynamic together; one is teetering on the verge of adolescence and the other isn't yet, but he's certainly too old for babyish story hours. They're growing up, yet they're both still little boys in many ways (though less and less all the time). It's weird and exciting to watch them grow and go through their changes.

So in closing, Festival was super, but we'll chalk the story hour up to a learning experience not to be repeated!

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