* * * *
Mary Carrick, who plays the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical at the Rose Theater, wrote a guest blog for momaha.
I have no idea what it’s like to be a single parent. But my husband does.
We have two awesome kids. My oldest just finished Kindergarten. She’s pumped for her summer camps. My little guy just turned 3. Last week, he was Mickey Mouse at 7 a.m. and a pirate two hours later. They’re quirky, hilarious, and fun.
It’s all pretty normal, except that my kids’ Mom is a kangaroo.
Outside of my marketing job and scattered nights as a singer, I’m sporting a new look as a pouched jungle animal. I’m the “Sour Kangaroo” in Seussical: The Musical at The Rose.
Performing at one of the country’s largest professional children’s theatres with full orchestra and fabulous people – it’s a rush. The show is awesome and huge. And it takes time – rehearsal six times a week and 16 performances.
At home, my super supportive hubby carries the bulk of the load – dinner, baths, books, bed, and referee. I generally see my kids off in the a.m. and kiss them at night when they’re dreaming. They eat many tortilla-inspired meals and go through a lot of cheese. I pitch in as I can.
The three are troopers. It’s how we roll, when Mom’s doing her stage thing.
I know I miss out on stuff and they miss out on me. But, honestly, my artist life – I really need it. It’s what I studied in college to be. It’s who I am.
After welcoming our first, I struggled with my identity, wondering how to deal with our lives changing so drastically and where the dreams I had fit into the mix.
Eventually, it was through my art that I found myself again. I realized that nourishing what it is that makes me tick also makes me a better mother.
For my kids, seeing me on their favorite stage, The Rose – and in a Kangaroo costume – is a kick.
They have a vantage point most other kids don’t. They hear me rehearse, can sing along to the soundtrack, and know some steps to our opening number. I bring them into the process.
Last summer, when I played “Mother Abbess” in The Sound of Music at The Rose, I took my best girl on a backstage tour. We talked about the people who worked together to create what she was going to see. After the show, she stood in line with the other kids to get my autograph, knowing (wink, wink) the lady underneath the habit was the one who would make breakfast the next morning.
And, through me, they see the discipline it takes to be good – really good – at something.
Some people don’t get the wackadoodle sort of life that requires this kind of time away from home. But I want my kids to dream big, find their passion, and fly – just like we sing about in Seussical. I want them to have it all.
What better example for my children, than for me to do the same.
Ok, I’m on stage tonight. Got to run home over lunch to vacuum.
Mary Carrick is a mom of two children ages 6 and 3. She works a marketing job during the day and moonlights as a singer and actress.