There are rules to this gig of Stage Mom. I’m a babe in the woods, learning as I go.
For starters, Actors rehearse. Athletes practice. Ne’er shall the two be confused nor interchanged, except when I get it wrong. The only thing worse than when I accidentally call Tyler’s rehearsal a “practice” is when I accidentally call Tucker’s uniform his “baseball costume.” You can probably hear the eyerolling from where you sit.
However, I excel at Ushering.
There are many things I am welcome to attend, but rehearsals are not a place where I am welcome. Tyler rehearsed all lines and melodies in the privacy of his bedroom – with the door closed – thank you very much. I did get to help one day, when he needed a little assistance in learning how to twirl a girl. That nearly melted me, but I kept my cool as he spun me across the dining room in my shining moment as a sparkling mermaid. But otherwise, no peeking. “Mom, it will be time for you to see when it is time for you to see. It’s not time for you to watch yet.”
This boundary pays off significantly in one very precious moment: on Opening Night.
After the cast takes their bows and then they rush into the lobby to meet their adoring fans, my son and I have eyes only for each other. He must find me, and he knows I must find him. It is mutual, reciprocal, and emotional, this moment we have both been waiting for.
He sings, and I cry. Under the Sea. Kiss the Girl. These are My Undoing.
“Mom, now that you’ve seen the show, you should try to watch other kids.”
“Sorry, pal. No promises.”
“Mom, there is so much to see in this show. Try to see it from someone else’s perspective, too.”
“No. Their moms can watch them.”
Little actresses swoon and throw themselves at the feet of a young man who can sing. This has led us to many conversations about the roles of leading ladies, supporting actresses, and gentlemen who must always be gentlemen.
Well done, sea creatures, one and all.
Now strike the set.
That’s a wrap.