The girls and Sean are in a production of Oliver, which opens tomorrow night. I have been in intermittent attendance, lending a hand for load-in and construction, ferrying dinner and forgotten things to rehearsal, and finally tonight to help out with make-up and quick changes.
It’s strange to be there, feeling at times like a pronounced outlier but also like I am home—only the home is old memories, different faces. A different theatre and another time. I try to fade to the edges.
Briar walked me through what she needed and explained to me what she’d be ok not having enough time to manage. I smiled and quietly nodded as I hooked her cap in my back pocket, set her dress shirt on my arm, and looped the suspenders on the outside of her slacks and slapped her socks on my shoulder.
We sat beyond the wings stage right. She prattled on with excitement, occasionally interrupting herself to mouth the words someone was singing on stage. I smiled and sat, soaking in the familiar sounds and crackle of backstage.
“Mom, can I have your phone? I want to remember this. I never want to forget you being here with me and being a part of the show.” She took my phone and began snapping, tilting her head to capture us in a kiss.
I am not used to the feeling of not being viewed as competent. It’s hard to not want to hijack things and project my opinion. It has been a struggle, I won’t deny that for a second. It hasn’t been a bad thing either, I need to be reminded of how many spheres of influence and belonging there are and that it is literally impossible to be a part of all of them.
This isn’t my production, but these are my people. I was taken aback by Briar wanting to capture this moment, but I savored the realization that in a moment that was entirely hers, she wanted to preserve my presence. It was absolutely spectacular.