It's strange that the 2008 Children's Christmas Musical is now but a memory.
Last night, three months of rehearsals came together as eleven kids and two adults performed to a pretty packed house. It's the first time I can ever remember not being extremely burned out by the time it was all over. This was the sixth year that I have spent my fall season wrangling kids, settling spats, and kissing boo-boos all in the name of theatre. There were minor mistakes and subtle hiccups but, all in all, I think it went very well. During the course of the last few months, Mean Raised Voice Lori had to come out a few times but I think that Logical and Generally Pretty Nice Lori visited often enough that the kids had a good time. Either that or they are faking these smiles...
They are actors though. You never can tell with their kind.
When we lived in Ramona I would shout choruses of Amens, Praises and Glories when the kid's play was over for the year but I loved and adored nearly all of the kids I worked with. When we decided to trade the sunny San Diego winters for Blizzardville I was devastated about leaving some of the kids I'd grown to love seeing at auditions every September. Never, never, would I love a cast of characters as much as I loved my Mountain View kids.
Do you see those smiles in the picture? I loved directing those grins. Oh, I miss my Mountain View kids like I miss good Mexican food but those kids in the picture make the homesickness downgrade from a violent stomach flu to the occasion wave of nausea. I. Love. Them.
I tell people that I have the spiritual gift of drama. (No, there is no actual spiritual gift of drama. My spiritual gift is administration and blah blah pocket protector this and file cabinet that.) I'll never do anything more than sit in a seat in a theatre on Broadway and I can think of mounds of people who worked beside me at Salomon Theatre that are more talented than I and very few who are less. (For example: "BUt, like a cloistress, she will veil-ed walkandwater once a day her chamber roundwitheye-offending brine..." sorry. Um. I realize that makes sense to only, like, one person who ever reads my blog but the butchering of Shakespeare had to be forever etched onto a page of my blog.) But if...IF...I got an 80,000 dollar education to be a stay at home mom and stand beside my husband in ministry then I will consider it an education well worth the loans I am paying--er, my husband is paying. And if that 80,000 dollar education prepared me for the life I am leading and if it kept me from making horrible decisions and if it authenticated my personal relationship with Jesus Christ in a more concrete fashion and if I learned the things that now play a small role in creating the smiles on the faces of those kids, then every dollar was worth it. Well, maybe not the dollars that went toward Chemistry and Biology. Those dollars I consider a complete waste.
I don't consider myself talented. Not in any sense of the word. Any level of success that comes to a night like the last one is purely a gracious God giving me a love for performance art and allowing me the opportunity to bring out that love in others. So when a dear friend calls me forward and hands me flowers for a job well done, I am grateful but I feel extremely perplexed. Because I am just doing what I do--what I love to do--what I feel the Lord called me to do. I'm just always so pleased that I was able to create, from start to finish, a memory for children, their families, and others. The flowers are lovely. And they smell divine on my table. But I feel unworthy of the gift.
After all, I'm just one of the kids, all grown up, thankful that the Lord gave me the chance to play.