1. Janis D

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    Our recent trip to Athens, full of Segway tours and museums, inspired us to live like tourists back home in Philadelphia. That’s how, one blistery cold Monday afternoon we ended up being the only three people in the Lights of Liberty show on Chestnut Street. I must admit, there wasn’t the majesty of Acropolis or the charm of port of Piraeus to lure my kids into the show. In actuality, they were embarrassed and bored and I had to drag them in. As we waited in eerily quiet the gift shop, all I could hear was “Mom, can I have this?’’ in stereo. The ten minutes till showtime ticked by slowly, my choice of venue becoming more regretful by the moment. Finally, the announcer’s voice blasted over the speakers, announcing the start of the show to a store full of a mere three people. The horrified looks on the faces of my offspring confirmed that I am just a corny, embarrassing mother. With blushing cheeks and a fake grin plastered across my face, I ushered my kids into the dark theater where I could hide my shame.We stood in the empty room with a 360 screen, and waited for the show to begin. I knew that if I could just hold out under the cover of darkness till it was over, then face my boys with a motherly comment such as’ “Well, at least we tried it!” , then I could take them home and put this all in my past. Silence. Time stood still. Then the music started, the screen lit up, and Ben Franklin appeared and saved my ass.Within moments, the theatre was alive with history and color. Ben Franklin was telling the story of Philadelphia. An important, historical city. My city! I was interested and I was proud. I peeled my eyes from the screen and looked over to see my boys mesmerized. We were all like little kids again, and it was fun. The show went on for about 20 minutes, and when it ended, my boys were smiling. They said it was ”cool”, “interesting” and “too short”. They thanked me and they were actually nice to each other the rest of the evening. We talked about the show and the history of Philadelphia over dinner, they did their homework, and even laid out their clothes for school the next day, all without any fighting. As the precious moments of the evening passed, my shame and embarrassment dwindled and was replaced with pride and gratification. I got them ready for bed, my eye on the glass of wine that was to be my prize once they were asleep. I said, “Good night” to my son, to which he sleepily replied, “That was the coolest show. Thanks so much for taking me.”#CoolMom