Recently, Aaron came into the kitchen where I was working and launched into his latest area of interest for that day. “Mom! Today John, Allen and I were talking about Romeo and Juliet.” Well, this certainly is a switch, I thought. He’s gone from his latest alien fascination straight into Romeo and Juliet. I could tell that I was going to need to hang on for this ride.
Aaron continued, “Is this thing true about Romeo?”
What thing, Aaron? “That poem………the one that………..oh, what’s his name? Shakespeare? Didn’t he write that poem about Romeo and Juliet?”
It wasn’t a poem, Aaron. William Shakespeare wrote a play about Romeo and Juliet.
“Yeah, and Juliet said ‘Therefore art thou, Romeo?”
Uh, something like that. She actually said, ‘Wherefore art thou, Romeo?’
“So why did she say that?!”
Thus proceeded our conversation as I prepared dinner and had this stimulating conversation about Shakespeare and his poem, as Aaron kept insisting, called Romeo and Juliet. Aaron wanted to know who this strange couple was and why Juliet was looking for Romeo and then he decided to fill me in on the rest of the story.
“Juliet said ‘Therefore art thou, Romeo?’ and she stood in the window of the castle. Then she jumped out of the window of the castle!”
I realized that at this point we had a compilation going of Rumpelstiltskin and Tangled and who knows what else? Interesting. Fairy tales and Disney and Shakespeare, rolled into one. I should send Aaron to Hollywood!
I tried to straighten this tangled mess out as I worked, but Aaron finished his informative conversation with me and thumped up to his room to occupy himself for the evening. But the next day, at supper, he had fresh ears. Andrea was there as well as Gary, and Aaron soon launched into his tale of Shakespeare and the poem he wrote about Romeo and Juliet. As he continued, the three of us were exchanging side way glances and doing everything possible not to laugh loudly at Aaron’s version of Shakespeare’s poem………which we kept trying to clarify with Aaron that it was a play but Aaron has dubbed it a poem and so it will stay a poem.
As he excitedly talked about this great poem, and how Juliet was looking for Romeo by asking the famous ‘Therefore art thou, Romeo?’ question……….and how she was standing in the castle window……………and then how she jumped out of the window!………………Gary, Andrea, and I were chewing vigorously in an effort to stifle our laughter.
But the tipping point came when somehow Aaron mysteriously forgot who wrote this amazing poem and he asked, “Who wrote that? Was it Arnold?” Aaron paused to think for a moment and then continued, “No, it wasn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger from the Terminator.”
That was it. I dissolved down into my chair, trying not to choke on my food as I laughed and then in my best Austrian accent, I just couldn’t resist. I said, “I’ll be back………..Juliet.” I know you had to be there, but Gary, Andrea and I totally lost it. I had to leave the table as the tears of laughter rolled down my cheeks. We don’t often laugh like this about what Aaron says, except behind his back, because at times he takes it personally and thinks that we are laughing AT him instead of WITH him. Actually, at this moment we were laughing AT him and we just couldn’t stop.
Thankfully, Aaron was still stuck on Shakespeare and Schwarzenegger and didn’t seem at all bothered by the laughter and choking and Mom repeating again, “I’ll be back…………Juliet.” He then began to ask if Shakespeare was still alive. “I thought Shakespeare was kinda still alive to write poems.”
Well, I’d say that at that moment Shakespeare was very alive and well at our house. More so than he probably would have ever wanted to be.
Or was that Schwarzenegger?
And I seriously doubt that this is over. I’ll be back……….Shakespeare!