Thursday, December 8, 2011

If It Looks Like a Duck

"My mother told me on several different occasions that she was livin' her dream vicariously through me. She once said that I was getting' to do all the things that she would have wanted to have done."
--Buck Owens

By Jamila Phillips
"Spring has come to the pond. Four mother ducks are awaiting the arrival of their little lovely ducklings. Like all mothers, they dream of their little ones doing exceptional things and becoming extraordinary ducks. When the time finally comes and their eggs hatch, the mothers are surprised at what they find. Each duckling challenges their mother to accept the unexpected and learn how to cope with their duckling’s differences. When tragedy suddenly strikes the pond, each duckling is able to overcome their 'disabilities' and use their strengths to help others in need. The four ducklings discover how lovely it is to be different."

Back in November, I mentioned being thankful for Mo's dance studio, Turning Pointe Centre for the Arts. These folks have been working tirelessly for months putting together a heartwarming story through music and dance. And I'm absolutely thrilled that my daughter has had the opportunity to be involved. The big performance is Saturday, and I can hardly wait. The performance is to benefit The Therapy Place, a nonprofit pediatric therapy center that helps children with special needs.

The Lovely Ducklings
Jamila Phillips wrote "The Lovely Ducklings" to share her story of raising a child with special needs and to give back to the folks who have worked in her son's life. And Susanne Sanders of Turning Pointe makes it come to life through her choreography.

Now, as the mother of one of the performers, I have been to dozens of rehearsals and spent countless hours watching the show come together. And I am awed by the commitment these children, teens and young adults have made to this cause.

They give up their Friday nights and full Saturdays to perfect their parts. They do it without tiring (or at least without complaining). And I'm thrilled that my 6-year-old has these young men and women as examples.

Even at 6, she has been moved by this project. On more than one occasion, her prayers have included a thanks "for the opportunity to help children who need it."

My girl loves to perform, and I am so happy that she gets to do it on "the big stage" at the Township Auditorium this weekend. She will adore it, I'm sure.

I have to admit a part of me is a little jealous. You know, #4 on my bucket list is to perform in community theater. And while I can't scratch that one off the list just yet, I've decided it's almost even better to watch my daughter get to do it. Of course, I swell with pride when she hiccups, but this is something special. To watch her doing what she loves for an exceptionally awesome cause is almost too much to take.

While Mo doesn't have a speaking part, she transforms herself into the best "sunning duck" you've ever seen and she dances her heart out. 

And as her mother, I get to come along for the ride. A special shout-out to my Jack who has shown immense patience watching countless hours of rehearsal.

If you can, please check out their performance this Saturday, December 10 at The Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC. I promise, you'll be moved.

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