This past week, there was a great indoor pool, hot tub and sauna at our hotel. The cast hung out there a lot, and one night, as I was hanging in the hot tub with one of the nice guys in the show named Jake, a woman in the hot tub asked us if we were with The Addams Family. “I’m not,” I said, “but he is.” “Awww,” she said, “that’s so nice. You’re his mom?”
I realize my greys need a little touch up, and I really really need to finally try Botox, but, this threw me for a loop (not as much as when my 41 year old friend Lynne was with her 11 year old daughter at a restaurant and the server asked her how old her granddaughter was.) But still. I thought I was finally blending in with the cast!
This week we were in Appleton, Wisconsin, at the Radisson, along with the National Convention of Missing and Exploited Children. As a person who is completely fascinated with all of the missing children cases out there, I spent most of the week trying to figure out how to sneak in and listen to some of the speakers. I made friends with all the law enforcement officers staying at our hotel, and found out that Elizabeth Smart was staying here too. I kept thinking I’d like to find her and talk to her, but I don’t really know why except for I’m morbidly fascinated by horrible stories (I read the obituaries every day, mostly to figure out how everybody died. And how I should avoid those activities.)
My wonderful, amazing friend Katie came in from Arizona with her son Ben, who has been friends with Sam since they started doing theatre together 4 years ago. Katie also shlepped along Lauren and Aidan, and helped them on the flight, and then drove them two hours from Milwaukee to Appleton (and took them back to AZ too). Ben wanted to see Sam in the show, and it was amazing to have both of them experience it with us.
Also, Sam’s aunt Michelle and uncle Stu and two cousins Maya and Mason drove in from Northbrook, IL to see the show and spend the night. And, our amazing cousins Keith and Cheryl drove from Chicago for the day to see Sam. It was wonderful to have so many people there this weekend.
I was so glad to have Aidan and Lauren get to come to Wisconsin with us. Aidan has developed a theatre vernacular that is funny to hear from a 4 year old. Right after the show, he asked if there would be a talk-back after this performance. When I said there was, he then explained what it was to some older people sitting near us. He also said Sam would be coming from stage right to deliver the talk back. He is probably the only 4 year old I know that, when he heard he was going to New York in January, said “Can we see Book of Morman? I heard it’s good.”
Everyone left this morning, and it has been a day of mixed emotions. In the Addams Family, when Gomez realizes that Wednesday really loves Lucas, her boyfriend, he sings a song about conflicting emotions: “I’m feeling happy and sad; life is full of contradictions; Every inch a mile, at the moment we start weeping that’s when we should smile. In every heaven you’ll find some hell, every hello a farewell.” Every time we have a milestone, we feel conflicted. Happy we graduated, sad that we have to now get a job. Happy our baby is walking and talking, but sad that the little baby days are over.
I’m so happy and grateful for this experience, and sad that Craig and the kids can’t experience every minute of it with us. I’m so grateful for our friends and family, and sad that we won’t see many of them for a while. I’m sad I’ll miss my twin niece and nephew’s 3rd birthday and Lauren’s cheer competition this weekend, but really excited to go to Elmira, NY next week (just kidding on that one. I’m more excited for Erie, PA on Monday.) I am officially used to living on the road, but I miss my house, my towels, my bed, and my car. I also really miss Cosmo my dog. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Today we are leaving Appleton for a 12 hour travel day to Dayton, OH, where we will be for the next week. I’m happy to go to a new town, but sad that I’m leaving the nice people of Wisconsin, who have the cutest way of talking. They say “eh” for many vowels, ie “do you want that in a paper or plastic b”ey”g?
I’m happy I’m blending into the cast (I even wear my Addams Family Cast sweatshirt. Maybe even too much.) But I’m a little sad that I am old enough to be the mom to most of the people in the cast, who are all in their late 20s and early 30s (I’m older than Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester and Grandma Addams). I would love to go out and party with them at night, but I am frankly way too tired most nights. And so, instead, I’m glad they come to me for advice on their personal ives, and also that they come to me to find out what they should take for a runny nose. And I worry about all of them enough for all of their moms.
So, maybe the reason why I was so surprised that the lady who asked me if I was Jake’s mom was not that I was worried that I look old. It was that I was worried she was thinking it was too late for him to be out on a school night, and that he was getting overheated sitting there for too long. And that I wasn’t doing my job as the cast mom. And that would make me happy too… and a little bit.. sad.