It’s on with the show

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I had the great fortune of being backstage with Helen and Mary Claire during last night’s performance of the Music Man. It was fun watching the scramble as all the kids changed costumes and waited for cues. Slipping in tap shoes, adjusting glue-on mustaches, reapplying lipstick.

What I’ll treasure most is the mere fact that Helen and MC got to do the show together. Almost five years apart in age, these opportunities don’t often present themselves.

Mary Claire’s excitement throughout the week was palpable. She was counting down the days. She enjoyed watching the backstage and onstage snafus get worked out with each practice. I’ve loved her daily run-down for me of technical issues and costume and hair worries. She couldn’t wait for me to see her sweet costumes and kept asking Helen if she was delivering her lines clearly and in character.

There's no business like show business

Helen had a few other challenges. She had to pull a Milli Vanilli and sing for the Marion Paroo character backstage during the dress rehearsal (with audience) because the dear girl playing the part was sans voice due to strain. She had to do that and still come onstage as her own kooky character as the mayor’s wife.  The extra day of rest paid off for Marion, because she sounded just lovely last night. It was a great experience for Helen who got a first-hand taste of that ever-famous saying: the show must go on.

It was especially fun watching Helen in a comic role, because quite frankly — she’s a hoot. She reminded me (and many others — based on comments) of me. A nice compliment.

It’s hard for me to believe this is Helen’s last big high school show. It’s time to move on. Which is all good. She’s made her college decisions and is ready for the next set of challenges that lie ahead. I can only wonder what’s in store for her.

In a little more than a year, it’ll be Mary Claire’s turn at high school, and she, too, is already busy making her plans. And likewise, I can’t wait to see how all that unfolds.

It’s times like these that make me grateful for the gift of faith. The complete realization that I really have to surrender to whatever it is God has planned for my kids. And that isn’t always easy. I recognize that believing in God’s plan doesn’t mean I don’t have to participate in this plan. Actually, it’s just the opposite. I have to do my part — with Him as the focus. There’s labor involved (a lot of labor). God says, okay, here’s faith, now do something with it. And with each child, I see that something. Differently, often surprisingly and with joy and hope for the future.

So here’s the analogy … the curtain never completely closes. The Lord is always there to open it again. Each stage of life is just that: A stage. And there’s always another show, whether it’s here on earth or in heaven. That said … this earthly life isn’t a dress rehearsal, and no one is singing behind the curtain for any of us. We have to get out there front and center and truly become our characters as servants of God. And we can remember our lines because the script is in the scripture. (Ba-dum-bum.)

Amen. Now let’s get on with the show.

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