I was struck by RAK publisher Karen Barr’s recent “Saving the Mail” post for several reasons. First, because Barr has an uncanny ability to make the most of every single moment of life.
Driving to and from the magazine’s office, or other destinations that round out her days, would never be enough for Barr. She’s listening all the while to other storytellers, including hosts and guests of NPR talk shows, whose work is delivered through mobile means.
And second, because Barr’s post addresses the topic of saving. Not money, but memories. I’m grateful she shared the idea of saving letters written by children away at college, traveling the world and such.
It makes me want to dig a little deeper for the letters I once exchanged with my own mother while studying abroad during my senior year of college.
She was trying at the time to put a happy face on days touched by domestic violence, not wanting to let on about the pain she knew would find me on the next plane home.
Eventually my mother escaped the physical and emotional abuse, but I think she’d enourage me today to focus instead on helping my own children spread their wings.
Part of Lizabeth’s college application process was tightening the performance resume she’s long taken along to community theater auditions.
She ended up needing a detailed account of nearly every training and performance experience she’s had in theater, dance and music (including vocal work).
But alas –programs from her many years performing in works from Ballet Arizona’s “The Nutcracker” to varied plays and musical theatre productions have long been strewn here and there.
We were sentimental enough to save each one, but never clever enough to keep them in a single place. Perhaps this is to our credit, since it clearly signals we haven’t been plotting “toddlers and tiaras” moments for her from birth.
But it feels now like a pearl we should share with other parents whose children are involved with the arts.
Save that paperwork from “Poetry Out Loud” competitions, those registration forms from summer theater camps, those programs from music recitals.
Life in college application world would have been so much easier had we thought early on to assemble the many pieces of her performance art into a single source — perhaps a chart noting each class, teacher and performance with date/s.
The thespian festivals. The master classes. The Utah Shakepeare Festival high school competitions. The college theater courses. All should have been better documented and tucked away for future feathering of our impending “empty nest.”
We’re fond of saving all sorts of things around our house, sometimes without rhyme or reason. But if you’re the parent of a budding artist, every little bit of info is part of helping your child build the resume they will one day take into the world.
For a time, it’s about holding on. Soon enough, you’ll be learning to let go.
Note: College arts programs have different requirements for resumes and other application materials, so check them early and often as your child readies for the college admissions process.
Coming up: Dreaming Darwin, ”Fiddler” then & now, Kiva Elementary talent show musings, Valentine’s Day gifts for arts lovers