There is a fairy tale puppet theater in a shopping center that I drive by everyday on my way to work, and it always gives me a wistful pause. Several years back, Gina and I were together and noticed its grand opening announcement in the storefront window. Gina’s immediate and reflexive response was “oh cool, I wanna go!” But I could see a moment of hesitation in the middle of her exclamation, as it occurred to her that she just might be getting too old for such entertainment. She was in 4th or 5th grade at the time, right on the cusp when magical child thinking was slipping away, to be replaced by more palpable delights (and concerns) of middle school, peer approval, and adolescence.
We still frequent that shopping center on a regular basis, but the topic of the puppet theater never again came up. I see the theater storefront almost everyday and remember how we just missed it. If only it had opened a year earlier.