Woke up this morning after a theatre dream where I was doing the quintessential version of Wicked. It was fully Broadway'd out with lights, sound, and set and even a Broadway singer especially flown in and singing in the balcony. It was epic, and then, for some reason, I went backstage and messed the whole thing up. As a director, you are basically the father of the show, and as a parent, you're a father or mother of a completely different show. There's no rehearsal for what you're going to go through. You're in the show.
I sometimes am way to hard on the parents that I currently have. I don't mean to be, but it happens. Mainly because I feel that there are some things that I am going through that I need some assistance on, but I, at the same time, want to do it myself. I'm sure it was the same when I was walking or trying to eat. And I'm sure that they want to do it for me sometimes.
Our parents do the best that they can to guide us and we do the best that we can to guide our children. We're gonna mess up. It's in the job description. But we learn as we go. There's no manual with children. This is not a blog post to say, "This is what you should do with your child." I have no idea what to do with your child, mainly because I'm not in your situation and I don't have your set of difficulties.
As I was leaving my house today, I told my wife, "This is just another level in Parental Zelda" and it stuck with me. Maybe if we treat this parenting thing as a game with different levels that we have to achieve, then some day we'll be able to save the princess. Or prince for that matter. I don't know. I, like so many parents, am making it up a I go along. I strain to find the information through the shaming in some comments. And we all know that there is a lot of parental shaming out there in the world.
We don't know until we walk a mile in the shoes of the people who have been there. As an actor, I have the ability to take the circumstances of someone and for a brief moment, try on their shoes. But I'm not living in their shoes.
So what's the conclusion? Not sure. It continues. Like all good dramas, it goes on. What is the story that you want people to tell about your life? What are the basic moments and the challenges that you have overcome? It's those battle scars that make us who we are. And if you don't have some battle scars, then go out and get some. I look forward to the comments on this one because I'm still figuring it out. Right now, it's taking care of the basic needs of my wife and child and managing expectations. That's the best I can do. New fathers out there, I salute you. And I wish you moments of calmness where you can figure out this thing that you're doing. It helped me this morning to write it down. Get a piece of paper or start a dad blog. Who knows? Maybe you'll figure out something.
I want to end this post thanking my two parents, Micheal Hardgrove and Joyce Hardgrove. Both of them, in their own special way, taught me a lot about life. And for them, I am eternally grateful for their guidance and their heart. Their determination and grit. And their...everything else. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I see now.