Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some Are Born Great

I witnessed the birth of a star this afternoon. It was the first time I'd been allowed to see my son perform in Twelfth Night. The theatre was virtually empty; just a handful of parents were able to come to the dress rehearsal. But the student actors were as professional as if it was a regular show. I was so impressed with the way everyone in the cast handled themselves on stage. The young men and women got into their roles and delivered their lines so well.

Then it was intermission. I spoke with a few of the parents, gathering names and contact information so that we could exchange photographs and work together on the parent booster club.

Some asked which child was mine.
"Malvolio," I said.
"Oh, he's very good!" they said.
"This is his first play," I said.
They were surprised.
One mother asked "Is it true that he's a freshman?"
"Yes," I said.
They were even more surprised.

Some time in the past year and a half, my little boy's height had shot up - to almost 6 feet.
And his high little boy voice had dropped down - to a low, manly voice.

I have seen a helluvalotta theatre in my two score and some years. This child has, too. We've taken him to Shakespeare plays and other theatre productions since he was 4. I've heard him mimic actors for years, nailing their intonations and accents. It is no surprise to me that he can deliver Malvolio's lines with such tremendous ability.

And yet.

This is my tiny baby, my little smiling rowdy boy, my shy middle schooler. I am astounded that he is willing to cast off all inhibitions and let his light shine in front of his peers.

He is brilliant.

I still have a recording of his little boy voice as a message on my cell phone. Every once in a while, Verizon makes me confirm that I want to keep saving my old messages. Yeah, I'll be saving that one forever.


Emm said...

Oh wow - you must be so very proud of him!! Ilove that you keep his voice on your phone! Do you have videos of your kids?

kyooty said...

YAY!!!! that's great, :)

Shana said...

I have a feeling this is the first of many performances you'll be attending, now that the theatre bug has bitten! It's kind of amazing when our kids find something that (a) they love to do and (b) excel at, all in one package.

Barry said...

What a shock when children are suddenly discovered to be adults. How is such an everyday miracle possible.

I've wondered that for years about my daughters.

Congratulations to your son, by the way. Do I hear "acting career" in his future?

phd in yogurtry said...

What a sweet and moving post. I am constantly amazed when I look at my bigger-than-I-ever-imagined-them-to be kids. Remembering them as babies, seeing these almost-adults. and up on a stage performing? Indescribable!

Congrats to your Malvolio!

Becky said...

Aw, that is great. What a delight it must be to sit and watch him!

jonesbones5 said...

Love it! Can't wait until tonight. I feel like I vicariously living through my child. Your son is brilliant too!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Well done young thespian!

Well done, proud mama :-)

lisleman said...

all that theatre time from you paid off. Good role modeling.

You should record that voice message with another recording device of some type. I have an old voice message from my grandson when he was first learning to talk. I have it stored on the computer now.

Meredith said...

Wow... so poignant, to watch your child's gifts unfurling before your eyes!

Congratulations :)

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Consider yourself fortunate that I was on an upswing from my recent hysteria last night; I have been known to weep over other people's kids performing, whether they're good or not, because I think of the same things - time passing, growing up, coming into themselves.

And truly, your boy was magnificent. Bravo to you both.

Bee said...

I felt so excited (and strangely proud) reading this.

And may this be the first of many, many starring roles!