Saturday, April 30, 2011

Little Boy to Big Fiddler (Part 4)

(Continued from April 23, 2011) …… But, then, the unthinkable happened. What happened next was not expected; not thought about in advance; and certainly no preparation had been made.

Early in the play, Tevye came back out to sing “If I Were a Rich Man”, all in full character, with the gestures of an old man coupled with a sparkling Russian Jewish accent. Who was this kid playing Tevye???

Not too long into the song, the floodgates opened for the dad. The dad, always the rock of the family, absolutely broke down and began to shed tears at his son’s performance, as Brady was no longer Brady, he was an old Russian Jewish man named Tevye!!!

As the “Tevye” role is prominent in the “Fiddler”, Tevye spends much of the play on stage, narrating, leading the family and town, and singing.

The dad could not get his eyes to be dry. He was quite thankful for the darkness of the theater, although he knew that intermission would be coming at some point! Intermission came and, of course, others in the area noticed the dad’s basket case appearance. The dad offered some sort of flimsy excuse about allergies, but everybody knew what was going on.

The dad looked at the mom and he was happy and surprised to see that she had been suffering from the same type of “allergies”!!

Nobody is really sure of where this started – perhaps it was when the dad awakened Brady as an infant by singing baby songs and substituting Brady’s name; perhaps it started when the mom, dad, and kids first started singing, dancing, and being silly on a daily and nightly basis; perhaps it started when Brady played a drum solo in front of a crown of about 600 people, even though he had only been playing the drums for two months – the crowd went crazy for Brady and maybe that was the moment that he realized that he liked being on stage! Who knows when or how or why it started?

What his parents do know is this: Brady has progressed in many areas of life to the point that other students, his older siblings, and even his parents admire his work, his preparation, his drive, and his overall approach to hard work, while still being very kind to everybody!

As the dad told Brady before opening night, Brady would remember his “Fiddler” performances for the rest of his life, due to the significance of the role. What he did not tell Brady was that the dad and mom would remember the performances for the rest of their lives, as well.

What the dad did not know beforehand was this: The “Allergies” would return every single time that his mom or dad even tried to think about Brady’s performances!

Brady – your parents did not think that you could have possibly made them prouder of you and the way that you approach life. But, you have far surpassed their previous levels of admiration for you! Keep up the great work in all that you do in life!

So, what is the lesson in all of this? The same thing that I have been saying for years: Spending quality and quantity time with your children; monitor their behavior to keep them out of harm’s way; encourage them in their efforts; always be there for them; and, of course, always know that your kids are watching YOU, even to the point that your silliness around the house might lead to the role of “Tevye” and severe “allergy” problems!

Now, if somebody could hand the dad a tissue – his “Allergies” are acting up again!

Paul W. Reeves

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