I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.
In years past during the Christmas season, I’ve played the part of Joseph, a shepherd, a wise man. I’ve been the Little Drummer Boy, narrated a Christmas musical, and played an adult modern version of Joseph, singing “Now I’m a Believer,” by the Monkeys. I’ve kind of done it all. Well, maybe not everything.
This year, I’m joining my wife and girls on stage as a “party dad” in the Civic Ballet of Chattanooga’s presentation of The Nutcracker, at the UTC Fine Arts Center.
Don’t worry, no embarrassingly tight tights, swan leaps, or grade jattes for me. I literally walk out on stage acting overly excited to be alive in the 1800’s, pretend to eat fake food, make over animated faces at a bunch of kids running around on stage, and then I cut a little rug with my beautiful wife in her royal blue, evening gown. We have another little ditty we do, then bada bing, I exit stage left.
You’re probably asking the same question I have for the past couple of week “what was I thinking saying yes?” I didn’t volunteer. In fact I was propositioned by my girls and my wife with a little mix of reverse psychology, puppy dog eyes, and a tee tiny bit of guilt. It worked, and well. . . here I am.
Our kids are the poster children of active. Our eight year old lives with a bat in his hand, cleats on his feet, and eye black on his cheeks. My wife has practically raised our girls in a dance studio and are there every night of the week. My oldest serves chicken strips and waffle fries at Chick-fil-a, almost nightly, so family time together is a rare commodity.
I’ve resolved that if I’m going to be part of my kids lives, I’m going to have to be where they are, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. This past Spring, Summer and Fall, I lived at the baseball field, and much to my surprise found myself out on the field a couple of times coaching first or third base. I’m proud and somewhat ashamed of the fact that I’ve achieved “red level” status on my Chick-fil-a App as a result of my weekly trips to fast food, I mean “quick service,” restaurant . I like their food, but I love my girl more and I love watching her find “her pleasure” refreshing people’s beverages and serving with a smile.
That’s why I’m putting on my ruffly shirt, my coat & tails and hitting the stage to make some life long memories with the people I love the most in this world.
I don’t want to sit in an empty nest one day, and mourn missed opportunities. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some memories to make.