In world where 6’4 almost 17 year old Black boys often aspire to become pro ball players, I must take a moment to be a proud Mama and brag on elder boy. I rarely write about him because I want to respect his privacy and my blogging efforts are known to some in our life outside the blogosphere.
Regular readers know that my son is living with his Dad in the midwest, they moved out there last year, my son was anxious to leave New England despite having a soft spot for the place and truthfully I can’t blame him.
Anyway last year on a lark, at the end of the school year my son tried out for a part in a one act play and got it, based on the strength of his performance he was given the lead in his school’s fall production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It was a big deal because, one he had no prior experience and two the performance was for the state competition which is pretty competitive.
Well this summer after almost dropping out because the line memorization was kicking his ass and he just wanted to chill this summer, he stayed the course. The play made it to the highest level of the state competition and won a prize, now elder boy was happy but the real prize just came. Yesterday my son received a letter from the University of Wisconsin’s theatre department asking him to audition for a slot in their program and inviting him for a campus visit ASAP. For privacy reasons I won’t site the specific campus but as my son’s director told him its rare for universities to contact juniors and make this offer, unless they are considering possibly offering him not only a slot (this program only accepts 65 students a year) but also a sizable scholarship.
Praise the Lord! Obviously its not a done deal and my son while still not sure theatre is his thing does understand that should he get a scholarship offer at some point, we will strongly consider it but there is still time for that as he is only a junior.
To say I am proud of my son is an understatement, he has raw talent and its funny because I wanted to be an actor but life took me down a different road so to see my son possibly head down this path is exciting. Its funny because he is often asked if he plays ball because of his height and while he is an average ball player, he has never had much interest in sports aside from cross country and at one point wrestling.
This weekend I heard that a young cousin of mine, only 22 was shot and killed a couple weeks ago, sadly I didn’t know him well but the word was that my cuz may have been caught up in some bad shit. Yet in hearing my son’s news last night I am reminded that once again, the world does indeed offer many alternatives for our young men. However as parents, its our job to guide that process and make sure we are providing alternatives that are less attractive than the streets. I know my aunt tried with her son but they never escaped the killing fields and sadly the streets got him.
Its times like this that my choice to leave Chicago for Maine and make sure my boy was as far away from the bullshit as possible seems like the right choice despite my own misgivings at times about being here.
Anyway, while my heart breaks for my aunt and family at the same time, I must say that my son continues to surprise me and I just wanted to share.