D is in the school musical. It opens tonight. We never see him anymore.
It’s Oklahoma!, and he’s a rancher. A dancing, singing, roping rancher. (Can’t you just imagine him, going off to some coastal state for college, at a dorm mixer all, “Yep, course I can lasso you. I’m from Texas, ain’t I?”)
The way it happened was this: a few friends are theatre people, and they have speaking parts. There was a shortage of guys for the chorus. So they recruited him. Not that he knew how to dance a step, but I think I’ve mentioned before how he’s a musical genius and all. (Okay, but really, he is a great and versatile musician, and sings like an angel upon this earth.) (Well, probably he does. I have a tin ear, what do I know?) So: tall, nice sounding guy willing to learn grapevines, and he got the part.
Earlier in the school year, he mostly spent a few Saturdays learning dances, and did some after-school time. Not insanely busy. (But: tall. The choreographer likes tall. He’s in, like, all of the dances.) He still ate dinner with us many nights, and I could brow-beat him into doing chores on a regular basis.
This semester, that changed drastically. Rehearsal every day after school, just about. Saturday work days. Sunday roping lessons. Oh, yeah, and the Model UN conference was last week, so there were position papers to research and write, and every class had a test or quiz while he was at the conference, so there was all the make-up work. (He won Best Delegate for his subcommittee – the only MUN kid at his school to win an engraved gavel. I’ma get me a bumper sticker: Ask My Kid About Refugees.)
So Thursday, opening night, he will show up at school in full makeup at 6 a.m. (K’s 12 Year Old Little Brother Destiny has been fulfilled. “D, are you wearing mascara?” “D looks so pretty in his makeup!” “I can’t stop looking at D’s beautiful face!”) He might be home closer to 11 than to midnight. He has a Spanish II test first thing Friday morning.
Did I mention he’s still maintained his perfect GPA through all of this? Although there is a chance that Spanish and Chemistry will be low As instead of high As this grading period. My kid, I tell you what.
So join me, won’t you, in admiring him from afar? Not that I don’t relish the three or five minutes we spend together after I pick him up from rehearsals. It’s good to be reminded not to take time with him for granted, especially as he gets older. I treasure the texts. I bask in his angelic voice down the hall singing “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’ ” or “People Will Say We’re in Love” as he toils over his homework or scrubs the eyeliner off his beautiful face. And maybe next month, when the show closes, I’ll get to see more of that face during daylight hours.
Until then, if the dishwasher needs unloading, or his laundry positively has to be done by morning, don’t look for D. The role of Member of This Household is being played by his understudies: his parents. We don’t mind overmuch, for now. We even hopes he gets the speaking part he’s hoping for in next year’s musical, with all the attendant logistics it will entail.
Break a leg, kid.