"It was worth it." A phrase that talks about the positive results of some sort of effort outweighing the negative aspects of the work that went into it. It can apply to many very different things. It can be small or little, but most of us would probably agree that there are a few events in our mind that stand out. The ones where the words, "It was worth it," don't even begin to cover the sense of satisfaction and perhaps even joy for the moment. There's usually a lot of time involved in preparation for a short time of acknowledgment or celebration. Some of my moments include graduation, several sports moments and accomplishments, my wedding, giving birth (twice), and many parental moments of pride, joy, and laughter. And less than two weeks ago, I experienced one that I am sure will become one of those memories tucked away to draw on when a happy moment is needed or wanted.
A few months ago, my family began a journey of practice, practice, PRACTICE that ended in a musical that all who were involved with could be proud of. A local community theater group that we recently became involved with performed "The Sound of Music" the weekend before Thanksgiving. For us, it began with auditions for Hannah (see my entry a couple posts ago for details), her landing the part of Louisa, and a phone call to my husband. Due to circumstances and time restrictions, he was not planning to be involved with this musical much at all, but for reasons that would qualify as rattling if I were to explain here, he accepted the cry for help to play the role of Uncle Max.
Practices began somewhat slowly, but they steadily increased in both time and quantity. The last week involved every single cast member and all members of the stage crew from 6 PM until 10 PM. The kids still had school, and the adults still had jobs, but while I saw a lot of exhausted people, I did not see a lot of crabby tempers or Broadway "wanna-be's." Everyone had something to contribute, and everyone else knew that, from the lead roles to the ensembles to the backstage worker bees. It is still a bit fascinating to me all the activity that happens continuously backstage during a performance, and of course this was no exception. But there was almost as much laughter as there was frenzy, and as is normal for me, I was usually nearby with a camera trying to capture it all. Andrew had the opportunity to help back stage through the final week of practice, so it was truly a family affair.
Saturday's show was my opportunity to sit in the audience and watch it all from beginning to end. I sat with family and friends, and when the final curtain came down, I wondered if they could visibly see my chest swell with pride. I heard friends (and family) who love music and my brother who doesn't, all rave about both of my stars as well as the whole production. Although Dave was the lead in last year's production (Beauty & the Beast) and Hannah was in that as well, that couldn't even begin to compare with how much more talent, consistency, and professionalism we saw in this show.
There was much of a family atmosphere among most of the cast which means that while there were moments of dysfunction, tension, and even irritation, they were much further and fewer between than those of laughter, kindness, and encouragement. All weekend, Hannah kept saying that she didn't want it to be over. Hours and hours of practice for one weekend, and it was all over. And cast party or not, there's no gentle way to say goodbye to it all. Much like Christmas or a wedding, it doesn't seem fair to have it all go away after just a day or two. I think the key is to remember that part of the fun, part of the joy is to enjoy the journey not just the destination. And when you do arrive at the destination, enjoy every minute.
I am happy to have some time with my family back. We have a life again. But I thoroughly enjoyed this trip...both the journey and the destination. And the memories will be tucked away in my mind to cherish, revel, and enjoy as much as possible.