April 2, 2013: Hakuna Matata

Valerie, Ben & I before performance of The Lion King
(Kathy V snapped the pix)

Hakuna Matata. Per Wikipedia, "Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase that can be translated literally as "there are no worries". It's meaning is similar to the English phrase "no problem" and is akin to "don't worry, be happy"." That being said, what do you like more...the cheery song on these words that we all have embedded in our brains or this catch phrase's cool meaning? It's a toss up for me.

Last night it was all Hakuna Matata while enjoying a night out to dinner and The Lion King performance at the Orpheum. Our foursome was my son (Ben), his girlfriend (Valerie), my aunt (Kathy) and me. We were celebrating a belated birthday and using Christmas gifts given in the form of this entertainment. We had a ball.

The kids picked the dinner spot, Spaghetti Works, and had perused their food choices on their I-Phones prior to choosing the restaurant. As a child, this vintage eatery was a favorite spot for me as well. Although the restaurant has not changed a bit, being a teen has changed tremendously. Thirty-five years ago you could have told me that the restaurant was moved to the moon and it would have been as believable as holding a phone with instant communication, camera, social media, and restaurant menus (all of which were utilized during our hour and a half stay over dinner).

Although I was still under the weather, I was glad I went. I'm quite sure I was more quiet than usual, which upon reflection wasn't a bad thing. The conversations were awesome and it was great to sit back and take it all in. Kathy is always a delight and the teenagers were very social. Sometimes I take this skill for granted with my kids. I just assume all kids are social, polite, and good conversationalists. That really is not the case with teens; a good reminder for me to be appreciative.

Both Kathy and I had seen this show before...many, many years ago. Although parts were remembered, our experience last night was fresh and amazing. We all loved it. As the story line played on, I kept visualizing our long lost Disney VHS of the original animated story. I took little Zach to this movie at the old Cinema Center back in 1994; his first movie theater experience. He was just over a year old. He LOVED it. 

That movie was the beginning of everything Lion King in our house...books, cassette tapes, toys, puzzles, clothes. It was also the beginning of a large Disney VHS library that kept growing as we added more boys to our family. The Disney movies kept getting better and our love for the characters grew as our boys grew. 

On our drive home, Ben sang every word to the soundtrack as though he was Simba. I had to agree with the lyrics; there really are no worries and happy is a good thing. Little happy boys can turn into big happy boys. Thanks for warming your mom's heart again, Ben. A good night...Hakuna Matata. 

Zach & Ben (wearing a hand-me-down Lion King romper)


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