First shared at Mrs. Gore’s Diary on May 15, 2012
I am in a directorial afterglow.
Let me explain…
Since we built our home 2…maybe 3…years ago, I’ve had this dream.
There would be a wooden stage in the side yard with heavy curtains on a pulley-system where the kids could don costumes and put on shows for us. We would laugh and applaud and they would bask in the beauty of growing up at home, where everyone gets a good part and stage fright is unheard of.
Well that dream partly came true this past weekend, and my heart has been singing since the final act.
There is a shed on my parents’ property that adjoins our little acre in town – you might have noticed that it shows up in lots of our gatherings and photographs, as it provides a perfect rustic backdrop for pretty near everything. A couple of months ago, my Dad poured concrete on one side of the shed, with future plans to convert it into a solar kiln for drying lumber. Seeing this open-on-one-side covered pavilion-like area, I fell in love and decided it would provide the perfect stage for our first homeschool play — until, of course, I get my real stage built.
I started planning our show with my children and my nieces, and we scheduled our first practice…
And then I found out my Dad was planning to enclose the concrete slab the next weekend with walls.
In dramatic Mrs. Gore fashion, I put in a desperate plea to postpone this enterprise, and by jinky, to my utter surprise…
But Daddy gave me one week.
One week to prepare for and perform our first show.
I was initially skeptical, but then I got brave and we carried forth with our practices and our plans.
And then it started raining on the morning of the show and kind of continued all day and I became skeptical again (and maybe freaked out a little because I’m a super-geek).
And then I got brave again and said “You know what? We are going to do this thingy.”
Before I could change my mind, with the help of my husband and brother Jerry, we loaded all of our supplies and props up into the pick-up, drove them through the yard in the rain, unloaded everything in the shed, wiped all the rain off of the wood and then, in dramatic Mrs. Gore fashion, I asked to be left alone…
My eyes roamed the large slab of concrete surrounded by three walls. It wouldn’t be how I had envisioned it. The audience wouldn’t be sitting on haybales in the grass facing the shed. But they could sit under the roof with us in the farmhouse chairs Amy sent up the hill to me. The curtain wouldn’t be draped across the large beam at the front of the enclosure. But what luck! There is another beam right inside here that we could use! The snack table couldn’t sit on the outside of the shed, beckoning our guests. But there is a perfect little spot right inside the entry that is just the right size for the table…
Alone in the shed, light rain hitting the metal rooftop, a utility broom in one hand and a dream in my heart…magic happened. When the children arrived for their dress rehearsal, and their eyes landed on their performance area, their special props set neatly on wooden beams or hanging from rustic hooks, their feet screeched to a halt, their eyes lit up and their mouths dropped open in delight and wonder. And I remembered why I had set out to do this “play” in the first place.
It turned out to be one of the best nights of my life.
Wanna know why? Because sometimes us homeschooling mothers worry a little that our kids are going to miss out. That they won’t have moments like we did growing up where they will unexpectedly bloom a little and their chins will raise up a little higher and they will stand a little taller because they did something so brave and extraordinary.
But in our little shed in the backyard, four little girls and a little boy, surrounded by a tiny group of people who love them unconditionally, put on a show and made people laugh and applaud and…they bloomed. Right in front of my eyes.
Those same eyes are already filling with tears at the memory of our night. Perhaps I should have been a director.
Or perhaps I am right where I’m supposed to be, putting on plays in the backyard with a 7-year old, two 5-year olds and two 2-year olds…
Tomorrow, I’ll share details and photographs! Stay tuned!!