On Saturday, my husband and I spent the evening watching our daughter, Sam, perform in her college's production of A Little Night Music. The voices were amazing. The pit orchestra was excellent. All in all, a very high quality production. My daughter was an extra, barely noticeable. She was also in charge of moving one of the set panels throughout the show. The few weeks before the opening night, I got several stressed out phone calls, which surprised me. My daughter was worried about keeping up with her class work while she spent countless hours every night at the theater. I never once reminded her that it was her choice to become a musical theater major. I just listened and told her to push herself as much as she could.
After the show, we waited for Sam. I could tell she was glad we made the trip to see her, even though she was just a moving set panel. She was exhausted, getting a cold, frustrated. My husband and I told her we thought the show was very good and she agreed. When we got to her dorm, we hauled up a box of food we brought her, handed her money, then hugged her good-bye.
On the ride home, I thought about how proud I was that Sam had worked so hard to just be a moving set panel. Paying dues was building her character and her determination.