LADY, YOU ARE CRAZY!
So my four drama queens just finished a grueling schedule of rehearsals culminating with six back-to-back performances of “Raise Your Voice”, a play inspired by the movie “Sister Act”. Whew! Talk about exhaustion. Some people, especially those who watched me trek the kids back and forth to almost daily rehearsals for two months, might say, “Lady, you are crazy! Why would you put yourself and your kids through that?!?” Here is the rhyme behind my reason.
My kids are a little “different” in a funny, yet intelligent, can’t-quite-describe-them kinda’ way! Where do such people gravitate? The THEATER of course! Joining a play gives my kookie kids a creative outlet. The two older girls have been doing theater for nearly half their lives already and the younger two girls just took their first steps into it with this play. I’ll admit that the schedule took its toll on my family as we already had a busy schedule. Church on Sundays was non-negotiable, but we had to alternate the other days we attended. That was really the most difficult decision.
THE “C” WORD
My eight-year-old was the first to crumble under the pressure. “I can’t take it! I want to quit!” she exclaimed after the first two weeks of rehearsals. That’s when I hauled out the “c” word that will forever be a part of their lives as they grow up into caring, successful adults. COMMITMENT. Ahhhhh!!! Over the course of the next several weeks, once a complaint or moan started to surface, it was easily quelled by the mere mention of the “c” word. They knew if they didn’t tread lightly, it could easily turn into a full-blown mommy-lecture! [shudder]
Aside from learning about commitment, they also dabbled in time management. The older girls, especially, had to pace their loads of homework and other extracurriculars had to sit on the back-burner some weeks. We managed.
They also learned a lot about people. They were exposed to kids and adults from all walks of life because the play was open to the community at large. It was great for them to see a more diverse group than they typically do at their private school. They made some incredible friends for sure!
WHAT IT TAUGHT THIS MAMA
The experience also taught me something. Every time we participate in theater, I learn to let go just a little bit. I learned that a kid might hate grueling rehearsals to the nth degree. He or she might want to cry when a director yells or a cast member gets the part she really wanted. She might also get very hungry because she didn’t pack an extra snack like her mom told her to–three or four times. There is a richness in the experience of theater that I could never offer my kids on my own. They will learn to communicate, to accept disappointment, to be inspired by some and be an inspiration to others. They will learn that all the “commitment” pays off on that stage when the audience is moved to tears, laughing hysterically, or sees themselves in a character on the stage. And this wise mama knew all along that no lecture would be necessary once each would-be-quiter walked out on stage with the lights shining and audience waiting in anticipation because that is the payoff–SHOWTIME!
And that little dumpling who pouted and insisted that the rehearsals were torture? She was the first to say, “So when is the next play?” Hmph!