I am having a slight meltdown this week.
By slight, I mean, huge.
It began on Friday night when my loving husband took me for a night out in the city to see, “Once” on Broadway as a belated birthday present. The theater has always been the place I feel most at home- most normal. It’s how I live my every day life- bursting into song about the coffee pot, a peanut butter sandwich, the pile of laundry. Seriously. Going to the theater is simply a validation that somewhere in the world, there are people who think just like me. However, this time was profoundly different. The play was achingly beautiful. Beautiful because of the music, the perfect portrayal of characterization, the love story that is simply not the love story you expect. Aching, because for the first time in my life, sitting in the Jacobs Theater, I felt deeply the place I am in in my life right now. The station and responsibilities I have. The house I own that keeps me in Northern New Jersey. The age I am. And all of it felt, heavy. And I felt old. I have never felt old before. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life wishing my age would catch up to my mind.
But, there I was, in New York.
Watching young, talented people fling themselves across the stage in costumes, fervently playing their instruments, and I felt the weight of 29 hit me like a wall. And I cried through the entire second act.
I am too old, too committed elsewhere, too entrenched in the education of my daughter, too consumed with our life as it is right now for my little girl dreams of being on stage.
I do not, in any way shape or form regret the choices I have made in my life. People often say this but seldom is it true, as it is in our case: I am married to my best friend. After eight years of being together, he is still the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. We have a gorgeous, brilliant daughter who is growing up in leaps and bounds- it’s almost scary. We have the most beautiful fabric of family and friends knit deeply around us.
This doesn’t mean that the realization that some dreams must die in order for others to live doesn’t sting a little. (If it’s possibly to predict when this realization might occur, might I suggest choosing a place out of the public eye? Like, not in a packed Theater? On a Friday night?)
When people say that Mothers love with a sacrificial love, I don’t think they give it enough substance behind it. To sacrifice, at it’s root, means, “to draw near”. When you draw near to something, it must be to the exclusion of other things. There’s no other way to do it. You can’t walk toward something without leaving something behind.
I have chosen to draw near my kid and my family. This means, that for now, I have to walk away from other things that tug at my heart. It encourages me to know that the God I serve knows much more about sacrificial love than I will ever understand. The pain of it- the beauty of it- all for the sake of those we love.