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2015-02-25 - 2:22 a.m.

I have to go to sleep. But have to share moment of joy I am a board member of an arts organization ( it is official ), and the most incredible thing is that while volunteering in that particular role of helping the board, one day I walked into an office in which there is a HUGE, BEAUTIFUL BLOWN UP PHOTO of these two gorgeous dancers who performed in a musical production of Sleeping Beauty YEARS Ago, One is wearing this dreamy pink princess dress, and the other a soft, flowy, fairy like blue dress. It is absolutely a stunning photo. And the girl in blue is my oldest daughter in rapturous joy dancing on stage when she was six years old, in a production put on by this arts organization of which I am now a board member. The wonder of this is the incredible healing of that photo being there blown up and that moment captured in what feels like immortalizing her absolute utter joy. It was the attempt to crush that joy which was made which she has had to overcome. It was the attempt to squelch my joy which I had to overcome. It is sadly the same behavior I was combating THEN in relation to my two oldest children that I see being played out when there are decisions made to crush the spirit of my younger children and attempts made to not allow them to fully embrace moments of joy without somehow just bursting their bubble with a sudden prick of pin that I can not fathom despite having lived through such moments. I can't fathom those are being re-played in some weird ways- such as this last weekend when one daughter of mine was "grounded" for lying to Dad , thus not allowed to go to ALL COUNTY AND ALL DISTRICT CHORUS This daughter auditioned for ALL STATE CHORUS but if one does not show up for all county or all district then that privilege is lost. The music teacher told me this younger daughter of mine had one of the highest scores HE HAS EVER SEEN in an audition and that she was at the top of scores out of HUNDREDS of students. Yet she can not participate. I feel her pain. It is as acute as one of the most profound parenting mistakes my father made, which was not allowing ME to be in a musical in which I was cast in a part because I was failing Latin in H.S. ( Amazingly at the time two older students in the play happened to be in Latin class and had been Tutoring me at rehearsals so by taking me out of the show I also lost my two tutors of the older students who were trying to support my success !!) All parents make mistakes and we have to forgive our parents our failings (Interesting typo, that was intended to be "forgive our parents' THEIR failings" but I decided to leave the typo as at some level we ALSO have to forgive our parents those failings of OUR OWN which are either a genetic predisposition or some learned behavior we carry on a legacy of all too often , whether with or without awareness of such). My son has been able to do that beautifully, my oldest child has been struggling with that in relation to her step father, and I am SURE in relation to me as well as I am positive she HAS to blame me for having brought him into our lives and HAS TO BLAME ME for the abuse happening and having been on going for some time before it was observed and recognized and addressed by me. I so hope my youngest daughter who was not allowed to go to All County chorus and All District can learn to forgive. If not it will be more harmful to her than the pain I think that she feels from being hurt and feeling a betrayal from her father. She feels as if he doesn't really care about HER AT ALL. I have tried to convince her otherwise... The seeing of that photo for me was such a profound moment. I have thought of this dress, not that particular dress but one SO SIMILAR that we found in a store which my oldest daughter and I SO WANTED TO BUY for her. I just remember the NO , and the moment of my husband, her step father then dropping HUNDREDS of dollars on dresses that HE LIKED He would not support buying something HE didn't like. It was shocking in the moment. HE was dressing his dolls, his Barbie wife and his Barbie daughter... I joked of being the Corporate Barbie he wanted to help improve his career development at the time. He was worth MILLIONS at the time yet couldn't allow any freedom of expression even to his WIFE as he controlled the finances, and everything at that point. HE did however at the time support the children being in that musical. He did support that, and he did come and celebrate the beauty of it. HE did record it. He was proud of the children in the moment as well . He was happy at their joy FOR A MOMENT.. or a few... Maybe he was oblivious and unaware of just how deeply it hurt ME when he could not allow my six year old daughter to buy the fairy dress of her dreams. It was so similar to the one she wore on the stage when she danced as a star in a show. I know I have thought and written and talked of that moment as one of the ones that seemed symbolic of all that was wrong in the family , our relationship and the one which I so vividly recall as the image of that dress captured both the joy and the pain of destroying that joy. Joy fully present and then withheld. That and the shattered violin I always intended to try to re-build as an art piece. I wanted to capture the violin and for it to re-emerge into something new, a new form of art, a new thing of beauty after its destruction. I did not want the crashing of that violin, the INTENTIONAL SMASHING of that violin, which at the time was the one precious thing my son owned that was given to him by his father he rarely saw , to be the last reality of that violin's presence. I wanted the violin to become art again- become something beautiful, so I gathered up its shards and tried to save them. ( FUNNY I first wrote that the violin was my daughter's and then amended it to it having been my son's as at this point I FORGET which child's violin it was that had been smashed in front of the two children who at the time BOTH Studied it! My memory fails as frankly it hardly mattered as in the moment the pain was inflicted on BOTH brother and sister when a violin bought by THIER DAD for one of them was destroyed maliciously in their presence. I remember all but that one detail as the pain was inflicted on us all- the destroying of the one item we had some ATTACHEMENT to as it was symbolic of the love of their Father. The punching in of the skin of my DJEMBE which made that so very painful to see that I eventually just gave it away until such time that I bought a new drum. The pain of seeing the old broken one was too acute- although giving that away is something I do wish in hindsight I had not done as I have no idea if it was played, but I felt that drum HAD TO BE LOVED and it could not sit in the environment it was in at the time. So let go of the remainder of the drum my teacher PAPA helped me find, I let go of it when it was in a broken state in an attempt to heal at least that since then I saw a way that could be whole again and sing, even when I was not there yet. I let go of holding onto the wood of the smashed violin. I lost those shards or threw them out or they disappeared I did not reinvent them they never rose from the dust of rosin and wood into something new But I did see that beautiful moment of my daughter dancing with absolute joy IMMORTALIZED in the photo on the wall where an arts organization hung it , admired by many for YEARS without my knowledge of it even having been there. I have let go of the shards Yet I still celebrate and see the joy And others have likewise been touched and have seen that joy my daughter brought in the one moment captured that continues to be a gift she has given to others time and time again, even thought she also was completely unaware of spreading of such joy. AS I said to the man who today E-Mailed me the FILE of that photo "You have NO IDEA what that picture means to me" My daughter's joy WAS NOT DESTROYED and continues to shine on for others to share in. I may not have been able to reinvent that violin into a new creation of beauty, but my son told me today that he was cast in the male lead at the theater conservatory he is at. His acting teacher is the mentor and private teacher of one of the actors who won an Oscar this year. His teacher works with that particular famous actor in the mornings and then heads to the school to work with Soren's theater company. My son's light continues to shine and today he is still center stage bringing joy to others. I couldn't have asked for a better gift today that the joyful moment of that photo being sent to me, and the phone call of my son's continued success as an actor. That Godspell song "You are the Light of the World" is now swirling in my head, as I am so happy my children understand that NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR YOU, that you ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD and will shine when you choose to! (*Again a funny, appropriate typo- meant to write NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR JOY yet NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR YOU is even a better turn of phrase)

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