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What happens on the stage

Friday, 31 March 2017  | 

 

What Happens On The Stage?

Tonight was Number One’s school show, and as always on such occasions she was poised, confident and utterly brilliant. She never ceases to amaze me, on stage she is like a completely different person. Gone is the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty which plagues her everyday life, in her place is the girl she was meant to be. The fearless one. The one who has the answers.

On stage, she has a costume to hide behind, and a set of lines to script by. And arguably, even more importantly, so does everyone else. On stage there is no uncertainly, everything is predictable. On stage she knows which lines are jokes and which are serious, she knows who feels happy and who feels sad, she knows exactly what is coming next and how she is supposed to react to it. And in that environment she blossoms.

Tonight amid numerous battles; growing class sizes, a teacher who she feels doesn’t really understand (though is trying her best to do so) and increasingly complex friendships her school show was exactly what we all needed. It gave us a chance to praise Number Two wholeheartedly for her success, it reminded her that there are places where she excels and it showed us all that there is hope for the future.

I have no idea what the future will bring, and this week, perhaps more than most that is something I have questioned. Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s just that Number One is growing older but more and more I question what life will be like for her as she grows older. I don’t have a preconceived idea of what I want her life to be like. I don’t mid what job she does, or whether she chooses to have family or be alone, but I do mind – most desperately mind – that she finds a way to be happy.

Happiness is not always easy, and in a world full of uncertainty her happiness both present and future is more uncertain than most. She has overcome so much, but perilously aware how far she still has to come. I wish, not for the first time tonight, that real life had a script. That real life came with a plan, was black and white and navigable for her. I wish I could give her a set of rules to digest, understand and act on. And of course to some degree I will. But as we all know rules are meant to be broken… it’s knowing when that’s the tricky part.

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