It’s official. Last month my youngest flew the coop and left for college. I am now what they call an “empty nester.” In reflecting on this new phase of my life, I look back over the 22 years I raised my two kids and realize that, while it is a good thing that they have spread their wings and flown, there are certain things I really won’t miss and other things I will miss dearly.
Not miss: Sitting at endless baseball and softball games in the searing sun and heat. PTA meetings. Shots at the pediatrician. Miss dearly: Late night snuggles and chats. School talent shows. Making crafts at home. Shopping for prom dresses. Visits to Laxson Auditorium to see great live performances.
For most of my children’s lives, I have had the great privilege of working at Chico Performances, the office that presents all the terrific world class performers in Laxson Auditorium on the Chico State campus. In my job as the marketing coordinator I was able to attend hundreds of family friendly events with my kids while they grew up. Watching these performances through the eyes of my children was a wondrous thing. Their enraptured delight at the incredible dance performances, their enthusiastic energy at the performances that featured interesting and different music, their mimicking at home of the astonishing acrobatic and juggling feats they witnessed at the theater.
Many memories were made and imprinted forever in my mind from these occasions when we attended live shows. But it isn’t only the evening performances I will miss. I also cherish the times that I was able to join my kids’ classrooms as they attended one of the many school Field Trips at the theater. To sit with my child and her classmates in an audience of a thousand children and feel the energy emanating throughout the space during a particularly engaging Field Trip was an amazing thing. Truly a “fountain of youth” – if only it could be bottled and sold.
Often, my children’s classrooms visits to these Field Trips were “adopted” through the Adopt-A-Class program. Parents, grandparents and local businesses have all paid for Kate’s classes to attend Field Trips, and when we attended as a class, these adopters got to sit with our classroom and hear their name announced from stage. The great thing about this program was that the class did not have to come up with the price of admission to the Field Trips and the adopter got a tax write off. The adopters were always so excited to hear their names from stage, and the kids always cheered when their classroom was announced.
In my remunerating on what it means to be a new “empty nester” I realize there are many things I will be able to do without a child at home every night. But when it comes to going to Laxson with someone who is under college age, I figure I’ll just have to find other friends youngsters to take to the theater. I don’t really want to give up that part of my life yet.
Chico Performances 2013-2014 season features 13 family friendly performances, including Jungle Jack Hannah, Stomp, Stunt Dog Experience, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Beauty and the Beast Jr., and Aladdin Jr. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m.
The 2013-2014 Field Trip series includes 15 field trips offered at the school friendly hours of 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Tickets to all Field Trips are $5 per seat , and are open to classrooms or families with young children at home during the day.
Chico Performances is also now taking Adopt-A-Class signups for those that want to “adopt” a classroom of their choice. Cost is $250 to adopt one class of 40 students to attend one Field Trip. Adopters get to join their classroom at the sponsored Field Trip.
For more information on family friendly performances, Field Trips or Adopt-A-Class, visit chicoperformances.com and click on the “For the Kids” tab.