“The moral of Pete's story is:
No matter what you step in,
keep walking along and
singing your song. Because it's all good."
It's been several years since Kyle's aunt, Karen, introduced us to the infamous Pete the Cat. Though we had never heard of the groovy, blue cat, he quickly became a favorite in our house, mostly for the great message of his books. Pete's motto for life is simply to keep on singing no matter what life throws your way.
|Somebody was excited during the Pete the Cat show!|
And over the years, we've managed to gather quite a collection of Pete books. Grace even has a stuffed Pete the Cat, given to her by the Hillsboro High School girls basketball team last season.
So, several weeks ago when some friends asked if we wanted to join them for a live Pete the Cat show in Springfield, it was easy to say yes. The program was geared toward small children, and since many schools also participated, tickets to the show at Sangamon Auditorium were reasonable as well.
|Grace was all smiles watching her daddy play skee ball.|
|Daddy showed Grace how to throw the balls up the alley.|
We rearranged Grace's usual physical therapy schedule and made plans to see the show in the morning with our friends and their daycare crew. Last year for Christmas, Grace and I even got coordinating Pete the Cat T-shirts, so we looked the part too! Being eight months pregnant, mine was a little snug, but it still worked out okay.
Kyle had booked us accessible seats so we could take Grace's stroller in with us. All the ushers were very helpful in getting us to our seats and making sure we had everything we needed. We decided to hold Grace on our laps throughout the show so she could see better, and we shared snuggling duties throughout the 45-minute performance.
|Trying their skills on a Simpsons game.|
I had hoped we might hear some of the songs we sing from the Pete the Cat books during the show, but the story told a tale of its own. And the length was just about perfect for Grace, who seemed to enjoy the music best of all.
As part of the story, Pete the Cat gets caught for trespassing and sentenced to live as a house cat for a week. As his story unfolds, he takes his shenanigans to the kids, who learn some life lessons along the way as well. Although I'm not sure Grace understood the entire story, she really enjoyed hearing the songs and would turn her head toward the stage when the music started playing. It was such a fun show to be able to see together.
|Grace got cool purple sunglasses with her tickets from the games!|
Afterwards, our friends, Jason and Gina, invited us to join their daycare crew at Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and games. It's been years since either Kyle or I had been to Chuck E. Cheese. In fact, the last time I went, it might have been known as Showbiz Pizza, where I had one of my birthday parties growing up.
We ordered our pizza and joined the rest of the crew. It was fun to chat a bit with our friends and watch all the kids enjoy the games and rides. We even made time to play a few games with Grace. Even though she can't really play any of them, she laughed when Kyle and I played skee ball, and managed to earn her enough tickets for some cool, purple sunglasses. We told Grace they were magic, just like the ones Pete the Cat wears.
|Grace and Pete took a nap on the way home from Springfield.|
Before we knew it, Grace was getting tired, and we were ready to go home. But we were glad we made time to take the trip. It would have been easy to say no, we couldn't go because Grace wouldn't understand the live production. Or, no, we wanted to eat somewhere else for lunch because Grace wouldn't be able to play any of the games.
But, instead, we choose to treat Grace like the wonderful, bright-eyed five-year-old little girl that we've grown to love. We held her and shared our delight during the musical and enjoyed her laughter when we played games at Chuck E. Cheese.
Life is never going to be "normal" on this Grace-filled journey. And you can choose to focus on that, or you can make the best of all the challenges life throws your way, just like Pete the Cat. Trust me, when you just keep walking along and singing your song, you'll be glad that you did.