A couple of months ago, I took my husband to see Les Miserables at a theater in-the-round.
I’ve seen it on Broadway and was even been in a production while in college, but this was a whole different ballgame. There’s something incredible about an in-the-round experience. It’s so personal.
My husband despises musicals with the very core of his soul, but in a grand gesture of his love for me he agreed to go …and he even went with a happy(ish) attitude. This story runs through my veins and is deeply personal for me. I know he knows that and that’s why I think he makes the effort.
As the music began and the lights started to dim, the Beatles Mania that had been brewing all evening just about boiled over into tween-like screaming and selfie taking. This story is a spiritual experience for me every single time. My husband (who had never seen a live production of it), was in for a treat.
By the ending scene, he was wiping his eyes and I knew the magic had touched him too. Mission accomplished! The next day, an unsolicited email with the following post popped up in my inbox along with a little note that said, “I sent a similar message to the boys’ birth moms too.” That man is so full of heart. I am a lucky lady.
What Jean ValJean reminded me about being an adoptive father.
So, Lindsey “gave me the opportunity” to go to Les Miserables at a local theater last night. I’m actually pretty bad at going to things that I know I won’t like (never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie–but I did get close once) but when it comes to Les Mis, I try to suck it up for a night every once in a while. I’m pretty sure I only made like 3 negative comments about it all night.
Musicals just aren’t my style. I find the stories rushed and I think you should only sing when it’s a REALLY good song and not just because you feel like a song is needed. Luckily Les Mis doesn’t have any dancing. Seeing cowboys doing pirouettes in Annie Get Your Gun a few years ago crossed a line with me that I can never cross back over.
Anyway, there was a scene in Les Mis that got my eyes a little wet. It was a moment that reminded me of my own position as a father of children that were not mine initially.
As ValJean is dying, he hands Cosette his confession and says (well…sings), “It’s the story of those who always loved you. Your mother gave her life for you, then gave you to my keeping.”
Now, our kids’ birth mothers are very much alive but they DID give a part of their life for their boys and they gave them to me to be their father. In that moment in that theater, I recalled the joy and the weight of that fact. I try to remember it every day–that 3 incredible women decided that I should be the one to protect and provide for their boys, to be the one that made sure they knew safety, happiness, and love. It’s an awesome responsibility. One that I don’t know I would have understood as well had I had children biologically, one that I don’t take lightly. I’m not a perfect father but I know that I’m just a little bit better because I understand what sacrifices where made to get my children in my care and that I will answer to God and their birth parents for how I guarded that gift.
With Jackson’s birth mother and birth family at one of Josh’s football games.
So, I gained 2 things last night:
- Brownie points with Lindsey (lots of them)
- A reminder of how great my life is and how great my responsibilities are.
Now, if we can just find ways to do that without having to sing EVERYTHING.