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Rite of Passage

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I grew up in our local performance art scene – ballet, children’s theatre, choir… Whatever would get me up on a stage. I met my husband-to-be when we were in our early teens in community theatre. We re-met many years later on performance poetry stages. Performance and stagecraft has connected us from early days.

Tonight there was a rite of passage as we dropped Brother-Bug at the same stage door we raced through as know-it-all adolescents (and before that, as nervous children) on our way to backstage call. A parent volunteer took my baby boy to touch up his lipstick and help him into his costume, in dressing rooms that I frequented more times that I can count in days past.

Brother-Bug doesn’t realize yet is that the first time you touch feet to stage you’ve joined a tribe, that you’ve met your right of passage and come through to the other side a performer. It’s mostly Papa-Bug and I, watching him on the stage his first time, reminiscing of our early performance memories, who walk through the rite, teary-eyed with flowers in hand, who see the rite for ourselves.

I don’t know if Brother-Bug will continue dancing or performing. If he’s anything like either parent, it’s not a thing easily resisted once you’ve been under those warm stage lights. What I know is that when I picked him up backstage he was calm and grounded, but also starry-eyed. And I know that he loved it and wants to go back on the stage and back to ballet class.

I couldn’t believe he is old enough, competent enough, to be up there on the stage that featured in so many of my youthful aspirations. I hope that next time he’s up there, I’m a little less teary-eyed so that I can see him a little better.

And away he goes…

5 responses »

  1. That's just the word for it. It was a REALLY emotional day for the parents.

  2. Oh…just seeing those doors made me teary! Great post, definitely brought me back. So terrific that you’re sharing all those great Eugene resources with your own kids now! We had a pretty magical time there, didn’t we?

    • It was a wonderful time. You know they painted over the walls and they don’t allow signatures anymore? Tragedy – I cried when I saw that.

      I hope my kids have as much fun as we did, but that’s a pretty tall order!

  3. Pingback: The Ballet Recital | Another Day - Another Mom

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