Today we passed a police car and Drew informed me he would “yike” to drive it one day. I explained he would have to become a police officer first, and he paused for a moment before replying, “Yes, I will be that.”
Police Officer is about the 39th profession Drew has agreed to adopt in order to acquire some time of privilege like scanning produce over the radar at Tom Thumb or digging highway ditches with steam shovels. He even wants to be one of my cleaning ladies so he can push the vacuum “one day.” I let him know the vacuum has a standing invitation whenever the mood strikes him, but that he will not be reimbursed. “One day” is his resounding mantra.
Ever since I was Drew’s age, I have also had a “one day” dream, and it’s one of those sweet little saccharine dreams that girls tend to have, to be on the stage. Specifically, I have always wanted to perform at Casa Manana, and it actually looks like that dream will become a reality April 24th with the opening of “Annie Jr.”
When we were growing up, my mother would pile all five of us and whoever else we were carpooling with in the back of our station wagon and set out for Fort Worth to watch magic happen in the round once a month. I remember the old organ that used to creep everyone out as it played Phantom-ish introductions. I remember framed headshots lining the dark hallway around the theater’s circumference. I remember how the air smelled like Cinderella’s castle.
We start rehearsals this Saturday and from the looks of things, Casa will own me until opening day. I have a spreadsheet tallying the sum schedules of about eight babysitters/caregivers who will be offsetting my time away, and Gordon is preparing himself for a strictly Chick-Fil-A diet with a few Hot Pockets and Velveeta residue thrown in for protein. I have been eating vitamin C tablets like they are peanut M&M’s dipped in bacon grease and stuffed with goat cheese and…well, peanuts, I guess. I have also been asking myself a lot of questions.
Questions like, Will I be good enough? Is theater a noble enough profession to spend precious days away from my ever changing babies? What is my dream really worth?
“Dreams” of the Disney variety are funny things invented in the last century because we had won the second World War and had so many more resources and free time than ever; we were free to ask what, in fact, we would prefer to do with our time now that there are washing machines and Penicillin. Dreams filled a new, curious void. Dreams allowed for a fresh and fascinating way to create our own little heavens on earth, to forge ahead independently, to make our lives a great big me-themed variety show.
But then there are real dreams. And real dreams are surrendered dreams. Dreams that don’t have you on the hook, dreams that could or could not happen and you would still be secure. I think those are the most trustworthy kinds of dreams. Trouble is, most of my dreams have me around the throat; they taunt, What will your life be worth if you make no headway in your writing? What will happen if you let your talent go untapped? I thrash myself against the wall to jerk these thoughts from between my ears. I militate against accusing voices, and remember that there is a Dream Giver who is not wringing his hands about whether the purpose of my life will be fulfilled. At the end of the day, my dream really isn’t “worth” much of anything unless it’s God-given and God-empowered. First, my dream has to be His.
Last question (at least for now): Would God really give and empower my dream of being a performer when there are starving people in Africa and hopeless people down the street? How can my dream and His dream for the world intersect? It remains to be seen, but if there’s one thing I know about God, it is that He is very, very creative.
So, you should come see “Annie Jr.” It will be weird not reviewing it for Mom2Mom, actually. I’ll be flitting to and fro as Mrs. Pugh, and I’m not sure yet if I even have lines or if I have a solo, but my track record with wigs pretty much guarantees that I will be blond. So that brings a little comfort.
Hey, maybe Drew can even drive me to rehearsal in his FWPD cruiser.wetbehindtheearsblog.com