My son is really quite the character. He sort of oozes personality. He is funny and bright. And I just like being around him. I find myself saying to him, something that my mother has always said to me, which is that she loved being around me and she just wasn’t saying that because I was her kid. That’s how I feel about mine. I feel like, even if he wasn’t mine, I’d like him. I’d want to be with him.
Because I think that he is clever and talented, I have been asking that he try out for the school play for the past three years. There has always been some kind of excuse. He didn’t like the show that they were doing. Or he was going to be the only boy in his grade doing it. Or there were no roles for boys. Always something. This year, I started early. I reasoned and discussed. I kept at it all the while we were in NY. I waited and waited to sign up for after school classes so that I could sign him up for drama. I lobbied hard. And it was not easy.
It was a no. And a no. And a no. But I kept not sending in the after school paperwork. And we kept discussing it. And discussing it. And then one day when, after spending a good part of the morning trying to learn a rap about Abraham Lincoln (seriously) and he finally got it, I said to him, see, you learned that rap, you could totally do drama. And he said yes. I almost fell of my chair. I did not really question it or rejoice too much in case he changed his mind. But I knew that if he did not say yes, every day that I made him take drama would be a dreadful uphill battle. It would have been a fight every day. I was not sure that I was up to that fight. So I waited. I bided my time. And I won. He said yes. And I knew that we would be doing it. I was really excited. He said yes even though the play this year is Annie. I totally thought that would seal the deal as a no but that was not the case.
Today was audition day. He had to sing a song. He had to do a monologue. We suggested “Sandy” from Grease. He chose “Without Love” from Hairspray. I found a pseudo-monologue which is the introduction to the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. He brought the book as a prop. Despite working from home, I have had to head to the office both days this week. I left early today and he called me while I was there before he left for school telling me that he could not do it. I told him to read the Daily Word (the daily affirmation magazine sent to me by my mother – “use any word you like in place of god”) from yesterday which was entitled “confidence”. I told him to take it with him and read it all day. He did this.
When I met him this afternoon he was really, really nervous. When he got out, he said it was awful. He said that he could barely sing. He may not make call backs but to me, it doesn’t matter. He said it was the most terrifying thing that ever happened to him in his life. I told him that if that is the case, he’s got a pretty good life. Which he agreed with. I am full and overflowing with parental pride. I know that this was not easy for him today. And I know that this may be the only time he ever does something like this but I give him a lot of credit for going through with it.
I figure whether he is singing with the characters on stage or painting sets behind the scenes, this has been a really good experience for us. For him. To expand himself. He inspires me and makes me think about what I should be doing. Should be trying. What could I do to push my boundaries? I think that I need to take a lesson from my son. I just need to figure out how to best test the waters myself.