One Night Only

I’m listening to the Dreamgirls Official Motion Picture soundtrack and having the night of my life.

I first saw this musical with my mom, brother, and sister many years ago. A local park often did musicals and plays and my mom always jumped at the opportunity to take us to see them. Admittedly, I wasn’t that excited to go because who wants to sit in a park for 2.5 hours during the summer? You might say, “I do!” to that question and that’s how I know you’re not me. I definitely did not want to sit in a park on a warm summer night.

We went to the show and I was immediately impressed by how little the outdoor elements affected my enjoyment of the musical. It was great! The big number, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, came and there was rousing applause. And that’s all I really remember about the actual experience of going to see that musical. I remember unexpected enjoyment and gaining a tiny glimpse into who my mom was. Because my mom really likes theatre and art and the outdoors and moments that only have meaning years later. But I didn’t always know that.

Like many girls, I had a love/hate relationship with my mom growing up. Though in retrospect I can see that she was my greatest cheerleader, at the time she felt like my most insurmountable obstacle. Whereas my dad was fun and funny and generally care-free, my mom was strict and sarcastic and seemingly crazy. It wasn’t charming, it was just a thing I had come to understand about my mom.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my mom. But if I wanted to have fun, I went to my dad. But a few months ago when I was at my parents’ house, that changed. I was chilling in the kitchen with nothing to do and I asked my mom to play FIFA 14 with me and she agreed. And I wasn’t surprised that she agreed. Because that’s who my mom really always was.

Even in the midst of working full-time and raising three kids (one of whom was a little terror), she took time out to take us to the Pizza Hut afternoon lunch buffet, or buy us subs and take us to the petting zoo, or drive us to a park so we can see a musical that she loved. My mom loves her family a lot. When I was a kid it felt stifling; now that I’m an adult it feels necessary.

So I’m thankful that my mom is willing to play a few rounds of cards whenever I ask, talk on the phone with me for hours, or convince the rest of the family to join our fantasy football league because she knows it’s important to me. And I’m glad that now I can appreciate your sarcasm and craziness as I see it manifesting in my own personality. And you have the best sayings. They don’t make sense at all.


If you haven’t seen Dreamgirls, here’s a taste. The movie’s great too:


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