I recently had the chance to review the stage musical adaptation of “Mary Poppins,” so I took 4 year old Lily, who – other than wondering when, after two and a half hours, it was going to end (she wasn’t alone) – enjoyed the show a good deal. But during intermission, she asked me, “How did Mary Poppins fly?”
In the few seconds I had to consider my answer options, I bypassed my knee-jerk compunction to tell the truth (I always thought I’d be that “Miracle on 34th Street” mom) and opted instead for a far more open-ended response.
“I don’t know, sweetie. What do you think?”
When Lily looked puzzled, I added, “Well, she had her umbrella up. Maybe a strong wind swept her up into the air?”
Lily nodded and said, “Yeah. Maybe it was the wind.” But she didn’t sound wholly sold.
And indeed, a few weeks later, out of nowhere, she said, “I think Mary Poppins flew on strings.”
“Oh – you do? What kind of strings?”
“On her dress,” she said, like she’d been thinking about this a while and had finally settled the matter.
“You might be right,” I said, telling myself that because we were sitting close to the stage, the wires were pretty visible.
But then some other part of me thought, with a little sense of disappointment, “Oh, God, I’m raising a Mini-me.” Continue reading