Well folks, this is it. My final “Year Of The Child Blog”.
When we started “Musical Notes” this year, our Associate Producer of Audience Engagement suggested that my weekly column be about the babies, offering a modern perspective on some of the themes in Falsettos. But as the season comes to an end, we decided to use the 1 year birthday of the babies as the final blog entry on this topic. And – while it’s very hard to believe – the babies turn 1 this week (June 13). Talk about a game changing year.
So what I have learned from this astounding year?
1. Be grateful for those around you.
I have never felt so blessed to have the friends and family around me that I do. The outpouring of support over the last year has been remarkable with so many wonderful people helping us out in every possible way. People are just so generous. Thank you for the meals, the visits, or kind words on Facebook. You have made these two babies feel extremely loved, and their daddies feel extremely lucky.
2. Humans are capable of doing it all.
It wasn’t easy, but I did survive one year of juggling parental and professional duties. On paper, there shouldn’t have been enough hours in the day. But there magically was. Everything got done. Nothing fell apart. Both the babies and the shows were properly cared for. We (as humans) have an extraordinary capacity to make it all happen.
3. It’s easier than you think to identify your priorities.
Back in the B.C. days (Before Children) I said yes to everything. Every meeting request. Every show invitation. Every social plan. This year I simply couldn’t. But when your life suddenly changes so drastically, your priorities instantly come into lazar focus.
4. Theatre cannot be everything.
I love theatre. But working in it, one experiences the highest of the highs, and the lowest of the lows. Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we treat each show like a life or death situation? I can’t say that I’ve found a way to care less (if I did, I imagine it would be good for my blood pressure, but bad for my art), but the babies have certainly offered some perspective. Even waking up to a terrible review or a bad sales report is countered by two smiling babies. We can work just as hard to make the best theatre that we can and experience the highs when it works. But we can all afford to beat ourselves up less when things don’t go as planned.
5. Packing is an art.
I have spent a disproportionate amount of time this year packing. Just going out for the afternoon requires very strategic, methodical packing of clothes, diapers, food, toys, bottles, etc. And then when we have to pack for an overnight, it’s at least a one hour affair. I cannot wait until these babies can pack for themselves.
6. We have great capacity for worry.
Everyone always says that you don’t start worrying until you are a parent. I always found this shocking since I managed to worry about everything without kids. Well… the worry does increase. Now every ‘what if’ circles through my mind at all times. And every scary story that I read online about bad things happening to babies only exacerbates the worry. So please stop posting your scary ‘bad things happening to baby stories’ on Facebook!
7. I understand why parents are always talking about their kids.
Pre-kids, I was annoyed with parents who talked about their kids all the time. Or wanted us to come over to see the kids each month. I thought ‘that will never happen to me!’ Well it did. I do try not to talk about the kids all the time, but inevitably, when someone asks ‘How are things?’, it’s hard to come up with a non-kid related sentence before launching into a kid update. Non-parents, please don’t hate us. We can’t help it. Watching these little people grow is an experience in its own league. And it fills most of our time. We don’t mean to bore you with updates on our children. It’s just that – especially in the first year – we are pretty singularly focused and our lives revolve around the kids. Humour us and listen, and appreciate that we don’t have a heck of a lot else going on!
8. Parents are parents.
Not one thing happened in this first year to make me feel ‘weird’ about being a same-sex couple with kids. No odd comments. No funny looks. No disadvantages. Parents are parents. I know not everyone in the world gets that, but I’m so glad to live in a place where everyone I encounter does so intuitively.
9. Your heart can hold infinite love.
Just when you think you are filled to you maximum capacity of love for those around you, two babies can prove that you have more love than you ever thought you had.
10. Miracles happen. Angels exist.
There is no ‘oops’ factor in our babies. Having these kids was the most deliberate and logistically complicated experience of my life. It was made possible by the miracles of science and the generosity of women who wanted to help us make a family. In the grand scheme of world history, the making of our family is a tiny event. But it gives me a renewed sense of hope for humanity. I believe in pure altruistic kindness because we have received it first-hand. I believe in miracles, because there is no other way to explain how science has led us to a point where we can create babies in the way that we did.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading this blog since September. While certainly a far cry from being theatre-related, I hope it has proven to be interesting and relevant to our programming this year.
I will continue to blog biweekly, but it will focus on theatre-making, with issues/trends/questions that I see from my perspective as an Artistic Director. I hope you will keep reading, even if there is less discussion of poop.