Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Long Run

"I got this feelin' inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on..."

–Justin Timberlake, Can't Stop the Feeling!

The first show I missed due to work travel; I heard it was one big, fun and hot mess. A bunch of grade-school kids who practiced for weeks to perform a version of the movie Trolls, memorizing spoken lines, scene after scene, and lots of singing practice as well.

These productions are extracurricular for the kids at our school and we have to pay for each child to participate, although each child gets a part no matter what. Even multiple parts to ensure the production is fully casted. The program and production director is really good with the kids, with the patience of a saint.

And for weeks our girls practiced their roles at home, so excited to be in the Trolls production. Beatrice played Branch's grandma and a Bergen, and Bryce was a Smidge, a spider and part of the pet crocodile (of course, if you know the story and the characters).

Then came the final show, the one I could attend with the Mama (what I lovingly call my wife), along with my sister and my grown niece who's pregnant with her first child. We all couldn't wait to see it!

It was so adorable! So much stage fright, undecipherable mumbling, subdued singing, director-fed lines, punctuated by moments of immaculate comedic timing. And throughout, nothing but proud smiles and laughter coming from the audience of parents, family and friends.

These were our children bold enough to be in the play/musical in the first place, to going week after week to Monday afternoon two-hour practices, extending Mondays into a grumpy oblivion, one that our youngest struggled with every single week.

But when it came to showtime, Bryce became the over-dramatic consummate entertainer, while Beatrice performed somewhat shyly, delivering much more subdued lines, but working hard, the actor's actor, ensuring she hit her marks each time. Mostly.

Still, for us in the audience who knew the movie and the story, we struggled to follow along, which is what made it all the more memorable. The story for us was one of our children having fun (mostly) and working together with their friends and the director to go all "electric, wavy" when they turned it on.

And turn it on they did. So much fun. Now they're in a shorter production of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!, with Bryce playing the little guy with the yellow going to all the places, and with Beatrice taking on multiple lines this time, willingly, including the part about the "waiting place," a place we've all been to in life, where we grind to a halt due to uncertainty and fear, unwilling to take risks and make moves. When we realize and accept that failure is inevitable and quite important to learning life lessons, then the waiting place is only a transitory respite.

That's one of the things we're so proud about our girls, the fact that they're already learning this at a young age, something that will help them when the waiting place gravity slows them in space.

Temporarily, of course, because it's not a race. It's the long run turned on.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

That's not for you!

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