Tonight is a night like I've had years before. My sister, brother and I lay in our shared bedroom dreaming of the tomorrow that couldn't come soon enough. It was Christmas Eve, and our bellies ached with anticipation. Would our Santa Claus deliver everything we thought we desperately needed?
Tonight is a night like that. I sit here in my worn-in recliner hearing the dog lap water from the toilet wondering if Santa comes to good boys like me on nights like tonight; nights somewhere between New Years Day and the first Monday of a new semester.
Tomorrow, as my friend Bob Maness lightly put it, is the beginning of a very long hell-week, a term we use in the theater for the week before a show opens up. It connotes very long hours doing what absolutely must be done to ensure the success of what you’ve been working on for a long time. January 3rd 2011 is the beginning of my own personal Hell-Week.
I’ve been greatly blessed with work. Having been unemployed for a year previous to this past September, work is something I’ve been seeking for diligently. Now, by the grace of God, a good wife, and some amazing friends, I’ve been given a lot of work…and it all starts tomorrow.
Since September, I’ve been blessed as the music teacher at Blue Oak Charter School, a job I love dearly. I also was given the opportunity to be the music director for Annie Jr, the fall musical at Chico Christian School. Those talents have blossomed into my Spring Line-Up. Starting tomorrow, along with my job at Blue Oak, I’m the music director for Aladdin Jr, Aristocats Kids, and Seussical Jr, all of which will be rehearsing on different days in the week through the semester until they all show in May. If you’re unfamiliar with directing…it’s a TON of work. Mind you, I’m also going to be rehearsing and performing the role of Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at Chico Theater Company through March. Busy busy busy bee.
But now back to the Christmas Eve story. We awoke the next morning very early (no wonder Aiden woke up at 3 am this past Christmas). Jennifer, Dale and I crept out to the living room and spied at all the holiday wonder and cheer bestrewn across the room. The stockings were fat with bounty. The lights twinkled and bounced across the hall from mom’s disco-ball ornaments spinning slowly on the tree creating a silent Christmas Morning tap dance on the walls and ceiling. But ma and pa were still nestled in for their long winter’s nap!
Being wise, Jennifer and I prodded Dale into action. Slowly, within the dumb fog of sibling daring, he crept into my parent’s room, around the darkened foot of the paternal bed, up the narrow space between dad’s side, and the wall until he stood staring at our sleeping father. There’s something creepy about watching people sleep, and you know it as a kid. He hesitated just a little bit, then timidly reached out a hand to jostle dad’s arm.
It’s a funny thing waking someone up out of a dead sleep…well, funny for your brother and sister who pretty much knew what was coming before they send you to your fate. I hope tomorrow doesn’t punch me like dad did Dale.