“You are known by the company you keep.”
– Heather Dubrow
I noticed something this week that I would like to share with you.
See that quote up there? I’ve heard that sort of thing all my life. I always applied it to friendships and the workplace and things of that nature. But something else has just recently dawned on me. The company that I keep is not really friends or coworkers at all. The people I’m around the most is my family. And I want to tell you a little something about a few of them.
See these gorgeous creatures right here? This is my boyfriend Richard and my daughter Kelly. Now, between Richard and I, we have a total of four children. But for various reasons (other parents, summer commitments, etc.), the other three aren’t around quite as much as Kelly is these days. So, more often than not, it’s just the three of us spending time together. That makes them the two people that I spend most of my life with. The “company I keep” if you will.
And I want to tell you a little something about them.
This week my community theatre is putting on a marvelous production of Les Misérables. This is a massive musical that is not known to be done by small community theatres…but ours didn’t let that silly little fact stop them. Now, usually, I would be involved in the show since I’m the actor in the family. But I decided to sit this one out for a while. I just didn’t think I had the energy to put into it (you can’t imagine the time and dedication it takes to put on any musical – much less this one! – unless you’ve been involved in one before). But, as it turns out, I ended up being the only one of our little threesome that wasn’t involved. Both Richard and Kelly volunteered their time to be “techies.”
Now, for this past week (the week that has lead up to the show), Richard and Kelly have been scarce. They have spent their every waking moment at the theatre. This is quite a turn of events for me. Usually I’m the one at the theatre while the rest of my family sits at home wondering how late I’ll be coming home. It was odd being on the receiving end of that for a change. However, I honestly haven’t minded the time alone. I was able to catch up on some laundry, some cleaning, some reading…and some thinking. While piddling around the house last night (opening night!), a thought crept into my mind: My boyfriend and my daughter are just friggin awesome.
Now, I’ve always known this, of course. This wasn’t a “new” thought. But last night, I had something specific to apply it to.
For those of you who don’t know, Richard is a musician. He’ll tell you he plays the drums but just owns a guitar – but he’s full of it. He plays them both and is wonderful at it. Oh, and he sings, too. This man who has the ability and talent to get up in front of audiences and make beautiful music (even making some decent money at it at times), has spent the past few weeks of his life volunteering to help others sound their best. He’s the one you won’t see when you go see this phenomenal performance, but everything you hear will be because of him. The man who makes music is just as happy (if not happier) this week in the shadows watching as he makes sure you can hear the actors making music.
I don’t know, man. There’s just something about that. Such humility. Such a lack of need for attention or applause. The ability to derive pleasure from helping others receive recognition. That’s no small feat, in my little book.
And then there’s my little Kelly.
Kelly is no stranger to the spotlight. This is the girl who played the role of Annie last year to five straight sold-out audiences. She got up in front of hundreds of people and sang her heart out, while “Sandy” jumped on her, licked her face, sniffed in her pockets for the treats she knew were there…etc. I’m telling you, Kelly was a pro. It’s hard enough to trust other actors when you’re onstage, but to get through an entire scene with just you and a canine as your co-star…and while singing!?…let’s just say this kid earned some serious points in my respect book for those awesome skills. But you know what I respect even more?
The role she’s playing now.
That’s right. This week, little Annie’s redhead is nowhere to be seen. That spotlight that she knew so well last year? She’s now sitting behind it. She’s the follow spot operator. She is making sure that you can see others as they shine. And you know what? She loves it. Like I mentioned before – that takes a special kind of person. A person who is not looking for recognition, but just wants to help. She’s just as happy shining the light on others as she was feeling it on her own face as she played a title role to a sold-out audience. In fact, I think she’s a bit happier doing what she’s doing now.
I hope you don’t mind the fact that I took an entire blog to give a shout-out to these two wonderful people in my life. If that old saying is true – if you really are known by the company you keep – then I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am to be known as the mom to that hard-working little girl and the one who is loved by that humble, talented man.
What a lucky lady am I.