Aaron likes music of various sorts and is tolerant of most of my musical choices. We all have our favorites when it comes to the music that we enjoy and Aaron is no different. The one form of music that he probably enjoys the least is opera. I don’t listen to opera, honestly, though I do appreciate it. To Aaron, though, even Handel’s Messiah is opera. I love The Messiah, especially at Christmas…….and inevitably when I have it playing, Aaron will walk in, raise his eyebrows, give me “that” face, and say something about Mom liking opera.
When The Phantom of the Opera movie hit theaters several years ago, it quickly became a favorite to me and Andrea. I have the CD, and so a couple weeks ago I decided to play it in the van while driving Aaron to his group. He had heard it before, a long time ago, but this time he was very fascinated with it. So fascinated, in fact, that he decided to start looking The Phantom of the Opera up on the internet…..meaning he was looking at YouTube trailers and talking about this movie….a lot! It didn’t matter to him that it had the word “opera” in it…..or that some of the singing was rather operatic. He was becoming hooked on the story and had tons of questions.
I was in Target one day when I saw The Phantom of the Opera DVD on sale for only $5.00. I bought one and later that day showed it to Aaron, to his great delight. Now he could actually watch the real movie instead of just watching the movie clips. And hopefully have all of his questions answered instead of clomping down the stairs to find me, with yet another query about The Phantom of the Opera.
For awhile, though, he still watched the movie clips and still asked me many questions……until one day I looked him in the eye and profoundly said, “JUST WATCH THE MOVIE!!”
“Oh yeah,” he said…..and back up the stairs he went to his room to actually WATCH THE MOVIE!!
Before long, I heard Aaron returning down the stairs. “Mom!” he exclaimed. “The Phantom of the Menace is singing to Christine about ‘my power over you!!’ What does he mean?!”
“Wait, Aaron,” I said. “The Phantom of the What?”
“The Phantom of the Menace is singing to Christine about his power over her. And he called her his sleepy angel!” With that, Aaron doubled over and furiously rubbed his hands together in delight. He was really getting into this.
“Aaron, it’s The Phantom of the OPERA,” I corrected him.
“Oh yeah,” he said as he hurried back upstairs……and I stood there knowing that Aaron was enthralled by the fact that this Phantom of the Whatever said that he had power over Christine. Forget opera……forget singing……forget the love story….. We’re talking POWER here!!!
Aaron was hooked.
Later, he came into the kitchen to find me. “Mom! Text Andrea to tell her!”
“Tell her what, Aaron?” I asked.
“Tell her that I like The Phantom of the Menace. Put it this way…..”
Opera, Aaron. The Phantom of the Opera.
So I texted Andrea to tell her that Aaron liked The Phantom of the Opera.
And on another occasion…..”Mom! Did you tell Andrew that I like The Phantom of the Menace?”
Soon Aaron realized that there was more going on in The Phantom of the Opera than underground tunnels and organ music and POWER. He was catching on to the fact that there was a love story involved. He knew that Christine had two men who loved her.
“Mom, the other guy that likes Christine is greedy of her!”
Well…..kind of……but not really greedy…..it’s just that……
Sigh. You try to explain it as Aaron stands there rubbing his hands together and then says, “Mom, The Phantom of the Menace is my favorite character!”
He wanted to know where the movie took place. “Mom, I noticed they say things in Paris words!”
He wanted to know why the Phantom wore a mask. “Mom, it’s funny that The Phantom of the Menace wears a mask. I thought he could have done skin surgery!”
And I was not going to explain skin surgery availability at this point. Aaron’s attention to every detail was taking all the fun out of the movie…..except for him. To Aaron, that IS the fun of a movie!! Every single solitary miniscule detail must be discussed until Gary and I are thoroughly sick of it! And I used to love The Phantom of the Menace.
“Mom! I noticed that The Phantom of the Menace is trying to kidnap Christine in chapter 8!”
Oh great. Now he’s even into what CHAPTER contains every single solitary miniscule detail.
And perhaps Aaron’s most astute observation: “Mom, I noticed that movie is about singing.”
Opera, Aaron. It does involve some singing.
And I had to smile……smile at how intriguing every movie and every event is to Aaron. How he processes all that he sees and hears, down to every single solitary miniscule detail. He doesn’t miss a thing. He even said that some of the songs in The Phantom of the Menace…..Opera…..made him cry. Wow!
So yesterday at his yearly BASIS meeting at Paradigm, we sat there with a new person doing his assessment. She was easy going and so Aaron relaxed. He started talking about movies, of course. And I reminded him to tell her of his new favorite movie. Aaron just looked blankly at me, so I quietly prompted him.
“Phantom of the….”
“Menace!” he said.
She had no idea why I laughed.