The morning news show was on in the background while I sipped my tea and ate my granola and yogurt. Ellie, still in her pink and orange fox pajamas, was pushing her dolls and stuffed bears around in the stroller Grandma and Grandpa had bought her a few weeks earlier. The Broadway cast of Wicked came on and as soon as the music started, Ellie turned around, wide-eyed. She walked up to the TV stand and stood there staring at the screen. I smiled at her immediate response to my all time favorite musical and continued watching her reaction. “They’re singing and dancing,” I point out, when she turns to me with wonder and amazement. I sit there practically in tears watching my girl and the joy she has found in one of my favorite things.
I don’t have many regrets in my life. I have always liked to play the safe card. I’m the goody two-shoes, the one who doesn’t take chances all too often. But, now that I’m older, sitting here, drinking my tea, watching my first-born daughter light up at the sight of costumes and makeup and singing and dancing, I can feel that sigh of regret creep up. If only I had been braver. If only I had tried harder at the craft. If only my quick weekend trip alone all those years ago, just to see that Broadway show would have turned into something more courageous, like a full-on move. Even if I had moved to New York City as a young adult, I may never have built up the nerve to even try out for a show… but, the regret is still there. I could have at least been a part of the city, for a little while. Drank in what New York had to offer. Bright lights, noise, pollution, people always-in close proximity to one another. Now, it makes me cringe. My anxiety starts to build just thinking about using the subway or getting lost after dark. I know I never would have made it out there. But, back then. Back then I was filled with song and spirit. Back then I felt like a piece of New York belonged to me. Bernadette herself had said she’s look for me one day. I failed her. I didn’t even bother to try.
It’s something I don’t think of very often. I’m happy. I have a life I was born to live. But every now and then, I see something on TV. The new Broadway cast of Wicked. I read about how a star was born. She took a chance. She moved to New York City. She auditioned for that new musical. She made it on Broadway.
I watch Ellie smile and bop around to the song on the TV. I watch her and those thoughts of regret are quickly pushed out of my head. I start to sing along. Ellie turns and smiles at me. And I know there’s really nowhere else I’d rather be.
*playing along with November’s Prompt-A-Day!