giants in the sky

It has not been the best mommy week for me. I was late twice picking my youngest up. I totally wasn’t THE mommy in some massive drama in my middle child’s world. I didn’t sign up for the school event next week. My oldest is in middle school, so basically when I breathe, I mortify her.
I struggle between being the mommy I am, the mommy I want to be, and that mommy I think I should be.

I told my little one upon her sobbing when she was the last one sitting waiting in the ballet studio, for what seemed to her like eternity, that she has to trust me, that I will always come pick her up. Sometimes, I’m just late.

“I thought you went home and left me here” she wailed. 
“I am sorry, I am so sorry” as I choked on my own tears. I said, “I’d never leave you sweetie!” 

Today in juvie we started to move forward. I have a good solid group; they are confidant and articulate. We have received great news this week, and it looks like we will be filming this group and making a documentary film. I am happy, I am worried, I am thrilled. I am, to be honest, a little scared.

I KNOW I want to share not only through this blog, but with a visual what theatre can do - what love and attention can do. I know I want to show the world what change looks like, and how transformation is possible. But like my mommy challenge’s, here too I am challenged. Challenged between the desire to show the transformation and to protect the transformation and the amazingly intimate process I go through with the group. 

The camera can change things. I worry how will they adapt? Will this affect the process? I don’t remember worrying so much last time we filmed, but alas, I am sure I did! 

I must have the girls sign waivers. They just met me, and I am asking them to trust me. “We have an opportunity to do something special,” I tell them. “I promise you that I will never use this to hurt you." How many times have they heard that? I think. “We will turn off the camera whenever you ask us to,” I assure them. I hand out the wavers.

“I want to be a movie star,” one says.
“Are we going to be famous?” the other one asks.
“I don’t want to do this,” the third says just to try me .

I quietly answer every question. I explain they do NOT have to do this and that they will NOT be the Kardashians. I tell them I want the world to see what I get to see, that they are so much more than the crime they committed. “I think your story is worthy of being told”
“What’s worthy?” One asks Oyy, I think. What am I doing? 
“I know you don’t know me, but I want you to know that I care about you. I don’t know you, but I see you.” I look at them. As always I have faith, but I see the challenges that await me. I can see giants in the sky.

As I drove home I felt overwhelmed. The director of the camp signed what he had to sign. The girls signed. The camp knows this is going to happen, the movie is going to happen. People are ready; am I ready? This is a huge responsibility! I get a little frantic. It really is giant... 

The traffic is really bad. I am so distracted, once again I am late to pick up my children and their friend. I have no snack I have no drinks. This is NOT a good mommy week for me.

In choir they learned the song “There Are Giants in the Sky” from Into the Woods. When I arrive they are singing and dancing and laughing and putting on a British accent. Funny they are singing how I felt – everything is big –SO MUCH bigger than me - definitely bigger than what I know.

They tell me in the car that they think the music teacher and the art teacher are in love. Maybe they are even married. Our friend says, “But he is from New York.”
My daughter answered, “So? He can’t get married?” We all laugh.

We stop at the farmers market for dinner. We sit at the table, and my little one curls up in my lap. I whisper in her ear, “I’m sorry I was late” my heart aching that this happened again. She lifted her head and said without a care in the world, “It"s ok, Mommy. They must have needed you in jail. I knew you’d come,” and she kissed me, kissed me, kissed me.

I had a moment of balance. My new group does not know me yet, but they will. The film will be brilliant because there is a brilliant story waiting to be told. And my child will be okay, even if I am THAT mom – who is late and forgets the snack.

“There are giants in the sky! There are big tall terrible giants in the sky!”

The girls sing and skip as we walk back to the car.
“Mommy –“
“What?”
“Nothing.”
And suddenly, I know it will all be okay – even if sometimes there are giants in the sky. Because here is the thing about giants, if you stop, look them in the eye, smile and breathe, they might not be so bad after all.