Sunday, December 04, 2005

You Don't Know Jack!!

Last night was a fun and full night for me. I get my kids every other weekend, and since my daughter is off to college (I know, hard for me to believe too!), it's just me and my two boys. Well, every year there's a travelling childrens theatre group that tours the area and performs plays at various schools. They show up on Monday for auditions then do four nights of rehearsal for two performances on Saturday. Whew! It's a hectic week. This year's play was 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. It's the old traditional, only shorter, and with music added so as to let tons of kids have singing parts. Just so happens my 12 year old gets the part of 'Jack'. He amazes me. He loves this stuff and, of course, being nonpartial as I am, I think he's GREAT!! He played the lead last year in different play and had the lines nailed the day of the play. But when he got up on stage, the lights were so hot that he was about to die of heat stroke, so he skipped the acting and recited his lines like he was reading them out of a book. Not good. So, yesterday I figured we'd practice. I would give him his cue and he would spout off his part, not missing a beat. I could tell his was worried and asked him what was wrong. "Dad", he said, "what if I forget my lines?" And, of course, me being the grand actor that I am, just said "just be Jack." "But dad, I don't know Jack!" he said. I didn't have time to get the tape recorder so he could say it again clearly so that I might use it against him in 3 or 4 years when he knows EVERYTHING. Annnyway, the play was a blast and he was phenomenal, making only a few minor errors that only he noticed.
Between the first performance and the last, there was an hour and a half break so we hopped in the truck and headed in to get something to eat. I looked over at my other son, knowing that he was bored beyond words and asked him what he would like to do. He said "Gas it dad!" Usually it takes him about 10 minutes to realize that I've even spoken and another 10 to come up with some smart alecky comment, but not this time. So I 'gassed it'. "Let's see what this puppy's got!" I said.(Don't worry, it was a couple of degrees above freezing still, and the road had nary a rise in it.) Did you know that some hairbrain engineer at Chevrolet thought it would be beneficial to put a chip in your engine that makes it die at a measley 98 mph!? Unbelievable. He evidently doesn't have boys. We were so disappointed that we took a detour down this 'road' into the woods. By this time it's dark. I'd never been down this road before but, hey, I do have 4-wheel drive. (Is that anything like "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn?) Our mantra for the next few minutes was 'mud is our friend'. Wherever there was mud...there was us. Fun!
We made it back to the second performance in plenty of time. You should've seen the other parents' looks at our truck as we pulled in though....priceless!!
I felt like saying "You don't know Jack!!"


tkj said...

People always say it, and it's true. Those moments you shared with your boys are the ones they will remember the most. And your daughter in college?!?! Where have I been? Oh yeah, Florida. Sounds like a great weekend. Just remember, when the boys come home with their first speeding tickets, what do you think they'll say "but you did it Dad!"

freeman said...

Sounds to me that the value of the pickup just went up! Maybe, just maybe, being a kid with your kid is what he wants while he's a kid. Little doubt he knows (understands but doesn't ever say so) that you're a great dad. Like most of us - remember the hallways of high school? :-( - just havin' someone who we can hang with that will make us laugh when we didn't hafta think about it...that would have been a great thing.

Looks like you can add the name "Jack" to the family tree. All those "J's" add up to a great family tree. Watch out for beanstalks!

So I get to be the one on the blog to start the "things I love" category (I agree with Stephanie that this outa be its own topic - hint, hint): I love that you know what it's like to smile inside because of your kids.

Go get 'em rookie.

Anonymous said...

John, I am smiling still and sending the link to janice. This is syndicated stuff!

This reminds me of some humor you sent me recently....

Veteran level fathering I would say.

Steph said...

You taught me the phrase, "I think it's just good parenting," when I've told you about all of my hair-brained schemes with my girls. Right back atcha!! :)
By the way, I love that I can use the word "hair-brained" in a sentence and have everyone know what I mean. (I also love that since I no longer work in ministry, I can use the word "ass" freely. Yup, it's the little things in life.)