He has music before lunch on Tuesdays, but at 3 p.m., when I pick him up, he sprints from the building waving a sheet of paper. “I have lines! I have lines in the play!”
He has already memorized them, and later that first evening, he’ll have the entire sheet — including several other characters’ lines — memorized as well. Over the next weeks, we’ll hear his lines as lyrics, as oratory, as comedy, as tragedy. We’ll hear him project. We’ll hear him whisper them.
On Tuesday, he phoned me to sing a couple of songs from the play. “It’s next Thursday,” he said, “the play. Can you believe it?”
“Are you nervous about saying your lines on a stage with an audience?”
“No! You know what I’m going to do? I have my apple — my prop! — and I’m going to pretend everyone is an apple. The whole audience! And then I’ll say my lines to all the apples and I won’t be nervous. They’re just apples.”
“Yes. It is.”
I want to tell you something about love. I want to tell you something I’ve learned this year about marriage. She used to ask me, in the beginning, “What does marriage mean to you?” And I had a million and a half answers. Pagan and communal. Romantic and pragmatic. Why my conversion to marriage evolved into full-fledged advocacy.
We picked her up that first evening he was cast, and before she’d climbed into the car, he said, “I have lines! Do you want to hear them?” and she turned, bodily in the passenger’s seat, her face alight like his, and listened to his recitation, and then reached her hand back to high five him.
Celebrate all the things. Celebrate all of them. All the roles you get. All the roles you try. The constant evolution of our families. The chance to live openly. Fearlessly. The opportunity to be the apple. The singer. The witness. The family.