On Sunday afternoon, Mazzy and I got an absolute gift. We’ve been having a hard time lately, partially because Mazzy (my wide-eyed baby girl who was always amazed by everything), is suddenly harder to impress. It’s heartbreaking to see that little kid excitement fade as your child grows up.

And then on Sunday, I took her to see Wicked, a birthday gift from Grammy, which we both loved. I had never seen it before and was expecting it to seem dated, but it absolutely lived up to the hype. Afterwards, Mazzy was really interested in discussing which parts and characters we both liked the best. I think this is the first time that she led a discussion like this after a movie or show, as opposed to me pulling teeth trying to get answers from her. I also found it hilarious how clever she thought she was for catching all the Wizard of Oz references. I guess I hadn’t prepped her beforehand for what it was all about, and for her, Wizard of Oz is just some movie she saw a couple of times when she was little. She doesn’t realize it was a cultural phenomenon.

When it was over, we didn’t want to go home quite yet. It was nice out and we are very rarely in Times Square. We stopped in the M&M store, per her request, and then walked up to the red bleachers above the TKTS booth. As we were pointing out billboards (Mazzy was particularly interested in the Bird Box billboard) and walking up and down the steps, Mazzy pointed out a group of street performers who were beginning a show to our left. “Can we stay and watch?” she asked. I nodded and we sat down in front.

Almost immediately, one of the performers grabbed Mazzy from the crowd to participate. They hadn’t even asked for volunteered, but I know Mazzy and she would have been the first person to throw her hand up. Maybe the street performers could see that too. She was thrilled to go up there and kept sneaking gleeful smiles back at me as she followed their instructions. It was a huge crowd and they had her up there for almost the entire show. Mazzy clearly thought the whole thing was the coolest experience ever and I squealed and laughed and applauded like the mom that I am.

When they had her do the floss and a dab, it was almost like she had been prepping all year long for this exact moment.

Here’s the video:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts) on

If you are wondering what happened next, and why I had to stop filming, click over to the second video. They got me up there too, which delighted Mazzy even more. Here’s a picture taken by another guy they pulled from the crowd. He sent it to me over Instagram this morning. How cool is social media sometimes???

The street performing group is called the Positive Brothers and I really can’t thank them enough for showing my suddenly jaded 9yo that life has so many unimaginable experiences in store for her. You never know when something awesome will catch you by complete surprise.

It happens to 44-year-olds too.