Friday, November 6, 2009

Family: stage mom reflections

WARNING:  the following post is a bit sentimental and sappy and brags a bit on my child.  If you don't want to read it, don't.  If you're with me this far, listen on in!

After months of rehearsals ... many that got in the way of family or personal activities or desires ... THE play opened last night. Dh and the littles were in the audience, along with our favorite priest/chaplain. Opening night was upon us.

A plague of butterflies filled my too-little dinner stomach ... while my heart beat it's own tattooed message:  "don't screw up, don't screw up".  I was restless, nervous, anxious, worried ... I was a stage mama.

You see, this was LegoManiac's first real performance.  True, he's always acted (and acted-up) in the living room or school room.  True, he was a superlative monkey in a version of Magician's Nephew last winter.  But ... this was real theater: admission, costumes, lighting, mics, make-up ... the whole nine yards. 

LegoManiac's role in the musical Mame is a big one -- he gives the first line ... he sings a few solos ... he buzzes the audience on his black heelys ... and he's in every scene but one in the first of the two acts.  Yep, the evening is fraught with opportunities for him to screw-up throughout the almost two hours that he is on stage.

And where's mama?

Watching helplessly from the wings ... opening and closing the curtain ... getting tennis elbow while the butterflies are overproducing in my stomach and my heart continues to pound.  I can't help him with costume changes ... or props ... or get his tail out on stage.  He has to take care of it himself.  He has to be a big boy and focus and emote and ennunciate and slow down and remember the words ... all by himself.  But he's still my little boy ... and I so want to protect him from making a mistake ... from forgetting a line ... from generally just screwing up.  But, I can't protect him forever ... and with this play he gets a chance to practice being "a big boy".

And that boy didn't make any obvious mistakes (actually making one forgotten line into a better, more emotionally-charged bit) ... the audience enjoyed every minute ... and, more importantly, LegoManiac felt good about himself and his fellow cast and crew at the end of the day. (I know this because he and I sat up from midnight till almost 1:30, discussing it all, sipping wine (me)/tea (him) and noshing). 

I love this little boy of 10 ... and when Mame sings "Where's that boy with the bugle" ... it makes me want to cry because it reminds me that he won't be little for too much longer and I'm so thrilled and honored that I can spend this much time with him, experiencing his successes, his failures, his big and little triumphs ... experiencing his life!

Thanks to Mame and all the veteran cast and crew who have helped this stage mama and her little boy learn so much about the great art of acting.  God bless you all.

OK ... one down, seven more performances to go .... and I'm sure I'll be just as nervous and worried at each one.  But nothing will ever beat the thrill of seeing my little boy ... act like a big boy, doing his best with his God-given talents at opening night November 5, 2009!

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