I took my kids to see HAMILTON for my birthday. It was such a great experience! I mean, minus the “Daddy, I need to potty” being said before George Washington stepped on stage or the disappointment that popcorn wouldn’t be available during the show, it was great!
The theater was beautiful, the performance was terrific, and the cast was solid! One thing stood out above and beyond all of that, though, my kid’s reaction. They were watching with wide eyes and amazement. They loved the musical when we watched it on Disney+, so they got the soundtrack and haven’t stopped listening to it before bed ever since. My daughter loves the Schuyler sisters and wants to name her baby sister (we don’t have one now) Eliza. My oldest son loves Hercules Mulligan and George Washington. My almost five-year-old loves Alexander Hamilton, but I think it’s because he knows I love his story.
All that to say, we thoroughly enjoyed the show, and my kids made it so much better.
There was a moment in the musical when I could not take my eyes off my children. I looked at them through tears as Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton sang to their children. “Dear Theodosia” was the song that crippled me, as I feel like I am still trying to do what these men did at the start of our great nation. The chorus,
“You will come of age with our young nation
We’ll bleed and fight for you
We’ll make it right for you
If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you
And you’ll blow us all away
Yeah, you’ll blow us all away
Aaron Burr and Hamilton had two children around the same time. They both knew life would be challenging as the nation developed around them, and they would have to work hard to overcome obstacles set before them to provide a good life for young Theodosia and Philip.
I need to say this, I know Burr and Hamilton didn’t sing these songs in real life, but as a father, I can only imagine they were thinking these words. How could they not? They had just experienced so much chaos from the war, and they were working on the plan to establish the United States as an independent nation. They had bled and fought for so long on the battlefield only to enter a new type of battlefield for their children.
Now, look at where we are and how far we have come. Look around. Look around. If you know the musical, this makes sense.
We are watching wars and bloodshed in foreign countries. We are fighting our own political battles here in our nation. We have racial injustice all around. We have people trying to fight for the rights they deserve. We have adults angrily typing to each other and ending friendships over status updates. Look around. Look around.
Then, I look at my kids. Oh, my kids. Our nation is still young. We are still maturing. We have a lot of work to do. I want them to see how hard their dad and mom fought to make the world right for them. The way we loved our neighbor. The way we served each other. The way we met needs for those who were hurting, broken, and lost. They will see how we don’t engage in hateful rhetoric about other people. We don’t separate. We stand for our beliefs yet appreciate and value those who don’t hold the same opinions as we do.
These ideas are laying a firm enough foundation. If we can continue to fight for what we believe is right and live a life of substance that points them to what it looks like to have a strong nation, they will be able to continue the momentum and blow us all away.
I see the future in my children; actually, I see the future in all children. They need adults to lead them in the right direction. They need adults to show them what it looks like to connect in unity truly. They need to see adults understand differences, work healthily to understand each other, and move forward even when we disagree.
Because this is how we build a strong enough foundation, make it right for them, and pass the world on to them with the hopes of our world being stronger and better than we left it.
Some day. Some day.