When I was about 9 or 10 years old my mother took us on a trip, just her, my sister and me. It was a pretty special thing for my single mother to do for us, saving up the time and money. We took the train to Toronto, we stayed at a hotel right on Yonge St and she got us tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages theatre.
That was the beginning. Since then I’ve seen Les Mis, Cats, Tommy, Miss Saigon, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Spamalot and Wicked – three times.
I watch the Tony Awards and dream about going to New York and seeing Broadway show after Broadway show, gorging myself on Next to Normal, Anything Goes, Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon.
There is nothing more amazing to me than these people who can sing and dance and act and pull it all together. I remember a performance at the Tonys from Anything Goes. They sang a bit and then they tapped and tapped and then they started singing again and I didn’t understand how it was possible that they could physically manage it.
When I was younger and I would listen to that music and sing along in my room, how I wished I had the voice and the skills and I could become those characters. I look at women like Idina Menzel and Sutton Foster and I wish I could be them, for just a few moments.
That Joel Grey would call me awesome.
She loves to dance, she loves to sing, these are things she does every day and takes great joy in, and I take joy in watching her. I want her to take dances classes in part because I regret not taking them. If that’s her exercise of choice I will cheer her on. I want her to keep singing as loudly as she wants and never to be shy about it like I was.
I actually asked my mom about voice lessons once and decided against them because I didn’t want anyone to think that I thought I might actually be good.
If my kid becomes a triple threat I will be at every show to cheer her on, whether lead or chorus.
And here I am dreaming for her, and here I am thinking into the future about balancing my dreams and her wishes, pushing and shoving.