We’re now less than 2 weeks away from our Christmas performance, so rehearsals are really starting to ratchet up. Yesterday, we had our first walk-through. Piece by piece, groups and individuals have been working on their parts, and this was the first time we put it all together on one stage.

In a couple scenes, my partner in the choreographed and sychronized movements, (trust me…calling what I’m doing dancing just isn’t fair), and I have children with us as our stage family. As it turns out, we have three girls. Two of them are the true life daughters of my partner and friend, Keri. The third is a close family friend they’ve known since the girls were toddlers. I have to say, we’re fortunate to have some great girls. They have tons of personality, and they’re just plain fun. They like to call me “daddy” in the spirit of what we’re doing, and already, we’re finding ourselves goofing off and making too much noise backstage. I asked them to name their characters. It was so fun to watch them get into the spirit of it. They settled on Samantha, Felicity and Molly.

I have to admit, there is a little rush that comes over me when these kids call me daddy. Of course, I understand the spirit behind it in this context, and each of these girls have wonderful families and real daddies. But having never been called daddy, and having dreamed of the day when it might happen, well, this is a fun and special treat for me.

I love kids, but I know in two weeks, my stage “daddy” persona will be retired. But I hope that the neat relationships I’m building with these three sweeties will continue. I love children. There is such innocence and potential in their young lives. They have so much ahead of them. It’s so important to be someone they can look up to and respect. We never know how much of an influence we can be upon young lives. How much will they remember? How much do they notice? These kids don’t worry about whether you have a job or not. They don’t worry about the things we stress over. They see someone who took some time to play with them. To listen to them. To make them feel special.

Funny, that’s just what they did for me.

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