Murphy's law of parenthood stipulates that when your husband leaves for a business trip, your babysitter's great-aunt Bertha will die and she'll have to fly home to Nebraska all of a sudden. Oh - and one more thing - it's Tech Week for the Off-Broadway debut of the first show you've ever written.
I woke up this morning, took my diabetic dog for a walk (I love that dog), made some lunches, got backpacks packed, got my cup of decaf (I'm too riled up these days for the real deal), checked some email, printed up 13 copies of the revised lyrics for the new number at the top of the show, plucked my brows, set out the kid's vitamins, and made my bed by the time I heard the infamous morning, "Mooooommmmmy" from my boys. To be honest the next hour is a blur of breakfasts, toothbrushes, and a Muppet Movie soundtrack dance party. But somehow we made it to the bus on time. My older son, handsome as all get out without his 2 front teeth, gave me and the little guy kisses and headed onto the bus with a prized stuffed giraffe "secretly" stowed away in his backpack.
And then appeared Tiffany, my friend's sweet hearted sitter from Parsippany.
She's adorable and perky - hell, I wish I could spend the day hanging out with her. But as I walk out the door, leaving my sweet little boy with this pinch hitter sitter wearing stylish jeans, I think to myself - I wish my mother lived closer.
I walk to the train wondering what my life would be if I had gone the route of my mother. Stayed home full time dreaming up magical puppet shows and planning elaborate finger painting projects. She was so very happy in that life. But just as I'm designing the forts I would build using the dining room table, a blanket and some rope, my phone rings. It's the musical director of my show asking a question about a new lyric, a new tempo, a new rhythm ... and I am instantly reminded of who I am and why I do what I do. I love my boys. I love my work. That's who I am. So, God Bless Tiffany.
One week before the first performance. Today we rehearsed with the band for the first time. They are INCREDIBLE. When the actors meet the band for the first time, it's always special ... but today I wasn't the actor. Today, I was the writer. All these people working to bring an idea I had one day on 101st St, to life. "Special" doesn't even begin to describe it. So I sat in my chair and choked back tears.
I checked in at home on my break. All quiet on the New Jersey front.
Back to the rehearsal studio to pass out those 13 copies of new lyrics. A hit! Within one hour we crafted a number that I think could be a highlight of the show ... and then just like that ... rehearsal is over. Actors dismissed. Next step - The Theatre.
A quick txt tells me my husband has landed safe and sound, and the boys are at soccer. Tiffany assures me that the roasted chicken I made this morning (part of that blur I was talking about), turned out fine and is now in the fridge awaiting hungry bellies.
I walk with the rest of the creative team 7 blocks uptown to the Westside Theatre. The Rated P banner is waving high. The marquis is in place. The trucks are parked out front and tons of electrical looking equipment is being loaded into the theatre. I walk inside - say hi to the staff I've known since my days as an actress at the Westside - and step into the theatre. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where I lost it. The set was up. The lights were on. The band was set. I sat smack dab in the center of my dream and ... wished my kids were sitting right next to me.
I could make it home for bed time. So I wiped my eyes - said 1000 thank yous - and caught the next train home. Just in time to find two snuggly freshly washed footy pajama'd little boys ready for book time. (By the way, the house looked great. I'm telling you, this Tiffany gal is a saint).
As I sung "I Could Have Danced All Night" for the millionth time, I thought about my lucky day. With a curly head nestled in my neck, I said my nightly wish. "I wish that your wishes come true." Mine have.