Home > Books, Communication, Family, Parenting > Hamilton: SUPER grounded!

Hamilton: SUPER grounded!

Okay, so the post itself is silly, but I’ve gotta preface it!

It’s impossible to express how deeply the musical Hamilton has moved me.*
In today’s world of manically jumping between various loci of purported connection**,
the musical represents actual connection to me: hearing others, feeling others, understanding.

So, while it might seem silly to put a spoiler warning
on events transpired more than 200 years ago,
I wouldn’t want anyone to listen to Hamilton
for the first time and find themselves
wishing they hadn’t read this post.

Upon entering my kitchen after a long workday and extra long commute, I found my six-year-old son had set up a library therein.

Mommy's favorite places, as far as Li'l D's concerned

Mommy’s favorite places, as far as Li’l D’s concerned

“Look at the sign, Mommy! Look at the sign! Look, look, look, look, look at the sign.” I saw he’d posted a “LIBARY” sign pointing me in the direction of the fridge, in front of which he’d placed one stack apiece of ADULT and KID books.

“You have to check out one,” Li’l D informed me.

“But I don’t want to read any of these. I want to keep reading Alexander Hamilton!”

“No, you have to check out one of these.”

I carefully perused the adult books–borrowed from his daddy’s shelf–before deciding on one of the kid books.

Li’l D painstakingly copied out a receipt for me, which I carried away with me while assuring him I’d not force the book upon him just because it was a kids’ book.

I promptly nestled Alexander Hamilton within its pages and set to reading.

Li’l D soon came to inquire how I was enjoying the book. I told him it was great, before deciding honesty was the best policy and revealing I’d cheated by tucking my book inside his own.

He was so bemused why I’d want to read even more about Hamilton that I offered an explanation. “Well, see, he’s in a lot of trouble right now. ‘Cause his wife found out he was … ”

“Kissing!” my husband, Anthony, offered emphatically.

“Yes, kissing another lady.”

“Why’s that bad?” asked Li’l D, as Anthony and I exchanged amused looks.

“He promised only to kiss his wife,” Anthony said.

“That’s right!” I added. “That’s what marriage is: you agree you’re only going to kiss your spouse. No one else.”

“Wow, he must be really grounded!” Li’l D exclaimed. I nodded and repressed a chuckle before resuming my reading.

My husband tried to interrupt my reading by beginning to describe a movie he’d watched last night. Midway through his explaining the second of only three interesting points in the entire movie, I had to interject, “This is not more interesting to me than Alexander Hamilton.” It’s not that I don’t want to hear about the movie. I just really want to read this chapter!

A short time later, Li’l D came back out into the living room. “You could read me Hamilton,” he said. As I rose from the couch, delighted by Li’l D’s rare offer, Anthony urged me, “Please be judicious about any ‘kissing.'”

I promised I would, but I really didn’t get to read very far.

“He was grounded, huh?” Li’l D immediately asked me.

“Yep, he sure was. Like, way grounded. You know how some kids get grounded by not getting to play with their friends? And other kids get grounded by not even getting to read? Their parents take all their books and toys away?” I quickly brainstormed how to explain to a six-year-old the level of “grounded” Hamilton was.

“Hamilton didn’t get to have any toys. He didn’t, um, get to have his books or writing stuff.”

“Wow!” Li’l D said, eyes wide. “Did he get to sleep in his bed?!”

“No! He had to sleep in his office!” I told him.

“He had to sleep on his desk? That’s really grounded!”

“Yes, he was the most grounded you could possibly be.”

“Okay, I got it,” he said, nestling into my shoulder. “Now start reading.”

I didn’t read very far before he started slurring his words from sleepiness. I only had to revise two sentences before I kissed his forehead and left the room, chuckling about how very, very silly adult affairs sound when expressed in the vernacular of six-year-olds.

*

* See above, for starters

 ** AKA “social media”

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  1. June 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Kids are the best! This made me smile. 🙂

  2. June 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Too stinking cute! Kids really do have amazing way of simplifying things.

    • June 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      I loved the chance to share that with Li’l D! If he remembers even a fraction of the moment or a fragment of its warmth, that would be enough. 🙂

      (That last bit, by the way, is me invoking lyrics from Hamilton‘s “That Would Be Enough.” Ahem. I am one of the people addressed by this Hamilaria video.)

  3. N.
    June 28, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    He’s too cute! Life would be so dull without kids around, no? 😂

    • June 29, 2016 at 5:21 am

      It really would! Sometimes I miss the seas of free time I had pre-kids, but most the time now that feels more like empty time than free time. Life is much fuller now of opportunities to see the world anew!

  4. June 28, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    🙂 I guess you don’t get to read to him very often.. Reading out loud was one of the only ways I could get my AuPair kids to be quiet and/or stop running around, so I read and read and read and read 🙂 Nothing very adulty though, luckily – I don’t think I could rewire the sentences while reading…

    • June 29, 2016 at 5:33 am

      Your comment made me chuckle. The last couple of weeks, Li’l D has wanted to read by himself; prior to that, we’ve read to/with him almost every day since he came home from the hospital … almost always his books instead of mine, which is why this was such a treat.

      This proliferation of reading is part practical and part personal. Practically, kids fare better when read to (a truth reflected in me and my siblings’ lives, for sure); personally, it’s great fun, and facilitates such connection.

      Some of my earliest blogs were about reading with Li’l D. Unfortunately, most were deleted in my accidental blog purge, but a couple remain:
      * https://deborah-bryan.com/2013/12/11/nightly-adventures-in-misreading/
      * https://deborah-bryan.com/2012/03/18/experiencing-books/

      Littler is just now getting to the point where he’ll sit and “read” aloud without us. It’s ridiculously adorable! (Anthony just took a pic of me reading with him a couple nights back. I’ll be using that in an upcoming post.)

  5. June 29, 2016 at 4:03 am

    How wonderful to see things through a child’s eyes! Li’l D certainly got the gist of things there. Thanks for the smile.

    • June 29, 2016 at 5:23 am

      I’m so glad for the rare chance to share one of my books with him, and to experience what flowed from that! 🙂

  6. June 29, 2016 at 5:46 am

    The little library, so cute. Wonderful post!😀

  7. Holly
    June 29, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Love this story 🙂

  8. June 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve got a hunch you maybe like Hamilton just a wee, tiny bit. Am I right? 😉

  9. July 1, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Huh…..we truly are rather silly when put into context. This made me giggle aloud. thank you

    • July 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Most the time, I now accept that to get an hour to myself I’ll need a week … but there are days like this one where I wished more of them could line up in a day! I’m totally captivated by what I’ve read of Eliza and hoped I’d get to know more of her in this particular chapter, but it really is as sung in the musical: “I’m erasing myself from the narrative / Let future historians wonder / how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart.” (Happily, the final chapter of the book was on Eliza. ♥)

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