Attempting culture

On Friday, the hubs and I took the three kids to see the San Francisco Symphony perform selections from John Williams. We’ve taken the kids to concerts, plays and performances many times before, mostly when they were much younger. We had a subscription to child-friendly productions at our local performing arts center when the kids were really young. As they got older and more opinionated about what they wanted to do with their time, they started resisting some of my ideas about live entertainment, and we stopped trying for a while. Still, this last year, I bought tickets for the whole family to go to see the San Francisco production of Hamilton, and a few other concerts and local shows. Pearls before swine, perhaps, but I figure I’ve only got a few more years to smack some cultural appreciation into these kids, and I’m gonna do it.

Growing up, I loved to attend the ballet, opera, symphony and plays. I loved getting dressed up, sometimes eating somewhere fancy, and feeling cultured and grown up for a few hours. ┬áMy kids… not so much. Maybe it was the ballroom dancing that had them in suits and dresses every Tuesday for a few years. Maybe it’s my work-from-home example, where yoga pants and a tank top are de rigueur. In any case, there was major grumbling from my son about having to wear a suit to “just go sit in a room and listen to music.”

We also had the chance to eat dinner in the Wattis Room, which is a small dining room for people who subscribe to a series of symphony concerts. We aren’t subscribers, but we’re going to see a second concert this summer (Ben Folds!) and I guess that counts. I like eating at fancy restaurants, but again, the kids… not so much. They like predictable menus, generous portions and a single fork and knife at their place setting. We had excellent, attentive service with a relaxed atmosphere, but the kids all felt out of place and challenged by the menu. My son did order the Spanish octopus salad with watermelon, which, for a kid who is all about the fried mozzarella sticks at chain restaurants, was pretty ambitious. He ate the whole thing, too.

The show was great. I loved that they selected some obscure selections from John Williams’s movie scores, and that they invited local Star Wars cosplay groups to come in costume and march in and out at strategic points.


On the way home, the kids were humming the music and they all said that they enjoyed the concert and were glad that they went. They also requested that we stop at McDonalds on the way home. SIGH. One show at a time.