Kids wreak havoc on your emotions. My oldest was just in her school’s play, Annie. She came home a few weeks ago with the news. It was surprising because she has never expressed any interest in plays or the theatre at all. She told us that she won a part with lines and a short singing solo. Confused, I offered to help her with her lines but she refused my help. As the play slowly approached Annie started to overtake our home. The soundtrack or movies always seemed to be playing. My youngest now starts to involuntarily shake anytime the word “tomorrow” is uttered.
I know she was practicing but she refused to rehearse or even tell me her lines so when we sat down in the theatre my stomach was in knots. I could not believe how nervous I was for her. I would have been less nervous if I had been the one up on stage. When I looked at the program she had sixth billing and when the lights came up she was front and center.
She was great and I’m not just saying that because I’m her dad. She was really good, better than I was expecting. Seeing her on stage is always weird. In this play and in her cheer performances, she slips into a hyper focused mode where she seems like an entirely different person. It is a side of her I’ve only seen a few times. She delivered her lines perfectly and even had the biggest laugh of the play. A music cue stepped on one of her lines but that obviously wasn’t her fault.
After the performance we all went to a restaurant and she sat with her friends instead of us. It is weird seeing her grow up but seeing her on stage strangely alleviated some of the stress of it. The nervousness I felt seeing her on stage was like an intense distillation of the general anxiety I feel at the prospect of her growing up. Growing up is hard and intense and confusing but seeing her up there made me feel a little better, like maybe she will make it after all.