River City Kid
I could eat him up. Right this second.
Ashton (Winthrop) with Cynthia (Mrs. Paroo - she's INCREDIBLE)
I admit - I could be just a tad-bit bias, but I think Ashton as Winthrop gives little Ronnie Howard a run for his money. I'm not sure if there are many other moments in life more meaningful or perfect than when you watch your child come alive as they tap into their natural, God-given, it's-just-always-been-there, talent.
This kid seems to float through his days. He sings his songs all over the house, and we even caught him in the back yard performing for the cat. He watches the clock all afternoon, eager to leave the house and get to practice. While Hayden and I are dragging around and complaining about how tired we feel, Ashton is bouncing around the house singing Gary Indiana and asking, "Is it time to go yet?" The little boy who was almost too terrified to audition told me last night, "I can't wait for all those seats to be FULL of people." Who is this kid?
The other day I said, "Ashton - what if you had decided not to audition for this play? Remember how afraid you were? What if you had let fear win?" He was quiet in the back seat of the car. Then he slowly said, "I can't believe I almost didn't do the play, cause now I never want to stop doing them." We took a moment and let the truth soak in deep - deep enough to stay put forever. He'll need that truth again one day. So will I. I've read a great deal of books penned by brilliant thinkers and find myself listening to smart people talk just about every single day, but I have learned some of life's most profound lessons from the likes of a snaggle-toothed nine year old on short car trips home from the grocery store. Strange how that works, isn't it? The rest of the car ride home Ashton sat humming in the backseat while I thought of the joy, passion, and life I've probably missed out on simply because I believed Fear's sneaky lies.
And a little child will lead them....
This is my favorite costume I wear in the play. I feel like Mary Poppins.
The running shoes aren't allowed during the real performances. Rats.
Since Saturday, we've been at the theater for four hours every single night for dress rehearsals. We're exhausted! I've been sick, I crippled myself running the other day, I'm behind in all area of my life, my family has eaten cereal for supper every night this week, but we're having such a great time working on this play and watching it all come together. Isn't that weird? I don't know how a person can be sick, tired, overwhelmed, and still manage to have a fabulous time, but that's exactly how I'd describe life this past month. While I'm at it, I'll go ahead and make another confusing, seemingly contradictory statement - "We have had so much fun, loved meeting a group of precious, talented, dedicated people, have been incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be in this show together, and yet I'm so ready for the play to be over!"
Theater life is confusing, I guess.
The show opens Friday night. I'm off to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy and explain what "Break a leg" means to the boys.
The kids audition: I Take All my Advice from Parenthood, and that's not Weird at all.
All photos by Alan Bryant.