Saturday night, I had to sit through a very long, very awful play. I sat through it because the son was in it, and he had one of the lead roles. And even though the story was disjointed, the timing was dreadful and the production had all the histrionics and inaccuracies that you'd expect to be evident in something written by a high school senior, the son's penultimate scene gave me chills. He was galvanic, his distress/fury/emotion so very real. Everyone in the audience felt it; the other parents were exclaiming over his performance when the show was done.
I treat my children with affectionate disdain, at least in front of others. They are so amazingly secure in my true love for them, that they actually appreciate my face-to-the-world. I do not behave ever as if the sun both rises and sets upon them. There is no whir of helicopter rotors. And so, as others were on and on about the son last night, my response (with a smile) was, "Yes, he really IS that cranky." and "He's been hard at work on that bad attitude for years."
Then I proceeded to tell a senior girl, the show's AD and the one of the son's dearest friends, about how he shaved off half of one of his eyebrows last year in a failed attempt at grooming. She was trying so hard not to laugh, but he finally told her with resignation, "Go ahead, just let it out."
(According to my children, their friends love me. I find this hard to believe, but they insist that I am so nice and so funny. Not sure in what universe I'm so nice and funny...I don't think it's this one.)
The son will be in the school's spring theater production as well, and he has a featured role in the school's video newsmagazine every month. In the last year or so, he's become increasingly confident in his own face-to-the-world, as has the daughter, who used to be so shy that I had forcibly remove her from leg.
Watching them blossom makes me happier than anyone will ever know.
Go listen to some good music: "Kiss From a Rose" from the album Seal: Best 1991-2004 by Seal. This song was featured as interstitial music during the show and it is an earworm on par with "Small World." Agh!