. . . listening to the Wicked soundtrack over and over again with your 12-almost-13-year-old daughter--the one that same daughter got you for your birthday-- and remembering . . .
. . . dusting the house together while you listen.
. . . going back and replaying your favorite tracks again.
. . . telling your daughter how the Act I finale of Wicked ("Defying Gravity"), an anthem of independence sung by Elphabah the misfit, reminds you of Fanny Brice's similar declaration ("Don't Rain On My Parade") at the end of Act I in Funny Girl.
. . . listening together to Barbra Streisand sing "Don't Rain On My Parade" on my original Broadway cast album recording.
. . . discovering a musical allusion to "Don't Rain On My Parade" in Wicked's "One Short Day to the Emerald City" (it was my daughter who figured out that the allusion occurs when Glinda mentions seeing a show--"Wizomania"--upon their arrival in the city).
. . . deciding that next week we will watch some movies together: one that my daughter wants me to see (the first Harry Potter) and one that I want her to see (Funny Girl).
. . . squishing up next to one another so that we can both read the lyrics in the CD liner notes, and discovering that when Elphaba and Glinda sing simultaneously at the end of "For Good" the normally mezzo Elphaba sings the high part while soprano Glinda sings the low part (reflecting the lyrics "because I knew you, I have been changed for good").
. . . watching a YouTube video of scenes from Harry Potter movies effectively and movingly set to the Wicked soundtrack!
Parents, myself included, often look at the children growing up before their eyes and mourn the disappearance of the various stages of that growth--infancy, toddlerhood, the preschool years--but at times like this I rejoice in the stunning people my children are becoming as they journey towards adulthood and the many yet to be revealed joys and blessings those years are going to bring. My daughter will always be my daughter and I will always be her mother, but how amazing it is to experience her more and more each day as a friend.
P.S. to Wicked fans: here are a couple of bits of trivia for you. Did you know that "Elphaba" (the name of the wicked witch in the story) was created by author Gregory Maguire by morphing the initials F. L. B. (for Frank L. Baum) into a name? And did you also know that Idina Menzell, the originator of the role of Elphaba on Broadway, played Patrick Dempsey's girlfriend in Enchanted? (She said she didn't mind that it was a minor role because she was thrilled to be hired for only her acting and not her singing talent.)