In the first play rehearsal I was ever in, while in high school, my friend and director, Penny Owens, sat the cast in a circle and said, “today we are going to read between the lines”. So we read through the play in our own parts with as much animation as a first reading can produce. Occasionally she’d stop us and we would have a discussion and she always wanted to know if we knew what our character was feeling by the words they were saying, and if there was information that wasn’t being shared that might be hiding behind the words. OOooo… that was interesting for a pre-psychology major. I understood that immediately. I had no idea being a play was going to be such mental fun, I thought it was all about strutting or acting silly on stage or flirting with cast members back stage.
It was good training for raising kids. I listen to the talk going on but what I really hear is what they feel and what they are hiding. But guess what? I’m not always on target. Sometimes I miss clues and the things they want to hide are very well disguised. And this usually happens when I am both busier than usual and distracted by a project. So I miss a few now and then. And I take that as getting a big fat C in parenting. And I’ll just admit, in our house C grades are unacceptable. It means we aren’t putting in enough effort. (too much brain power around here by way of genes to rest on Cs) So I suppose I should come down as hard on myself as I do on them when a C slips through.
Thankfully, we have grace, not only between us as family members when we fall short, but also from God. We get second chances to see, to try again, and to make improvements. We weren’t born to be perfect but this shouldn’t keep us from striving towards it.