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A Night at the Theatre

Last night the Gardner families (plural—Sterling and I and all the girls and their families who were in town) headed to Hale Center Theatre, for what has become a favorite family tradition. We always enjoy this evening because it’s fun to see everyone dress up a little (not Sunday clothes but a step above play clothes), learn basic audience etiquette, and enjoy some of the best theater that Utah has to offer.

And this night was no exception. We made it a little more special by having dinner at Tsunami, one of the grown-up Gardners’ favorites. We seldom take the grandkids before, so they were super excited, and the grown-ups looked forward to dinner too. We had great dinner conversation, and we especially enjoyed watching the grandchildren interact in little bit more formal environment.

After dinner, we headed to the theater. As always, Hale Center delivered above and beyond our expectations. The show—Mary Poppins—was one the kids were familiar with, so I think they were interested from the very beginning. And they stayed engaged the entire show, even though it was quite lengthy (almost three hours). That’s quite an accomplishment because several of these kids are normally in bed by 8 p.m.!

We didn’t sit all together; each of the families were located in different sections, so we all met together afterwards. Several of the kids took pictures with some of the actors. In fact, Seth knew the boy who played Michael Banks, so that was quite exciting for the grandchildren to “know someone who knows someone.”

Before heading home, the grandkids hugged each other goodbye, almost like they don’t see each other very often. I smiled, because really, they see each other all the time. But I love that they love being together and doing fun things like this!

Sara did great too. It was her first big venture out since her appendectomy on Monday, and she looked great. But I could tell by the end of the evening, she was ready to head home. She’s still thinking convention next week is a go—and knowing her it will be. But I will be right beside her, sending her back to her hotel room if I think she’s overdoing it. (Isn’t that what a mother is for? Smile.)

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Reader Comments (4)

Shelli, it is wonderful that you help us with our business matters and creativity through your post, but you go way beyond those areas - beautifully. I work with children and families that have difficulty dealing with the world's expectations. Your posts are brilliant examples for simple activities that bring folks together; for giving children opportunities to grow and celebrate their accomplishments; for giving your adult children room to make their own lives, and for a model of how empty nesters can still be vital contributors. You are truly a blessing, and I thank you for sharing that with everyone.
July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDona Stallworth
Another wonderful Gardner gathering! Family...there's nothing like it. As for mothering Sara, ABSOLUTELY! In fact, I think she'll have a few additional mother figures making sure she doesn't over do it. We want her 100% again and real soon! See you in a few days!
July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Curcio
You have a beautiful family!!!
July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjennibell
Shelli - reading this blog opened a floodgate of memories for me - thank you. I'm now 52 but as an 11 year old, my grandmother took me to find a costume for a school event - a bus trip into the city, hiring a Mary Poppins costume and having a wonderful day with her.

She also taught me so many 'rules' of etiquette - standing on a bus for someone older, what to wear for a more formal occasion, conversational skills ... and my most treasured memories ... are those she shared from her experiences as a performer herself (she was a operatic soprano - and my grandfather, an orchestral leader) - arrive on time and be seated on time - never walk in late.

Your family tradition is wonderful and I trust that in many years to come, your grandchildren will share the memories of the things you and Stirling, and their parents have taught them.
July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

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