I still can't believe this season of her life came...and went. It seems like a blur, but was one of THE most special times of our relationship. I know that may sound odd, but I got to watch her blossom...watch her fall right into something that many have known she was gifted and destined for...watch her bring down the house every single night...watch her come into her own.
I can remember the first night in Leslie, AR. It was the first time I ever saw her do the entire show. I literally sat there. In the middle of a room of 348 people who had paid to come and see this show...348 who I didn't know yet...348 people who likewise didn't know who I was...people who didn't know that I was the Lion's mother...
I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY! She was amazing! I couldn't believe this was my shy wallflower! I mean...I knew she had it in her and everyone who spent more than 10 minutes with her knew she had it in her, but man oh man! I went back to see her during intermission and told her how blown away I was and she says "Momma...I don't know what happened! I stepped into that lion costume and just transformed into THE LION!"
We had 6 more shows after this one. And it only got better and better each time. We spent an hour getting her hair that way, then hours up at the church helping everyone get into hair and makeup and costumes, an hour and a half for the performance, then another hour at least after greeting folks for autographs, pictures and after show notes. Here are just a few of my favorite parts!
Here she is a Zeke...the farmer back in Kansas.
When she busted onto the scene with her "PUT'EM UP PUT'EM UP!"...the place went wild! And so did I. Every. Single. Time! From backstage.
At first, she had a little trouble with understanding that SHE was the comic relief of the entire play. But by the end, her comedic timing was SPOT ON!
By the time she sang "If I Were King of the Forest", we were all on the edge of our seats just waiting to hear her. It was amazing!
Ha! Look at her face! This was when the Lion pulls his own tail and gets skeert!
During the curtain call every night...she came out and did a little Lion pounce. She solicited the most thunderous of applause from the crowds.
The entire cast on stage.
Here are just a few of her adoring fans!
One of her BIGGEST fans though...was yet to come.
Aunt Becky...who has been her biggest advocate for being "a star" since the day she was born lives in Wisconsin and was so beyond proud that she had scored this role. So she and I plotted. She was going to make the trip down here to one of her shows and surprise My Girl.
Just as Aunt Becky always did on show days, she called to tell My Girl to 'break a leg' and let her know how much she wished she could see her perform.
Here she was back stage...waiting for the show to start. When all of the sudden she spotted her Aunt Becky...and she ran across the room crying. It was by far one of the sweetest moments. One we will never forget and I am SURE made her 14 hour drive worth it even to her.
With her Aunt Becky (and me of course crying)
My Girl reading the sweet note that Aunt Becky gave her with her flowers. It was definitely a treasured memory for all of us.
Oh...can't forget to slip in our hard work for the cast party. We won FIRST PLACE!
I am so stinkin proud of you! You knew deep down you wanted to do something like this but were always so scared to do it. It was a journey of self discovery the whole way thru but watching you come into your own...into something you were obviously meant to do...is something I will treasure as my greatest memory with you. I can't wait to see more of your life story unfold as God walks you into everything He has for you. I'm just beside myself to get to be a part of your journey.
I love you, you little lion you!