My growing anxiety about allowing Cheyenne to attend that drama camp grew to an apex until I couldn’t take it anymore.
I’d made my decision. She wasn’t going. She was too young, too immature, and honestly, why were we allowing this acting dream to even blossom when I knew what that type of future held–nothing good. My dad’s decision to become the biggest superstar in the Sarvel Comic lore broke apart my family. Did we really want that life for Cheyenne?
After I’d put her to bed, my wife and I settled on the couch. Before she could turn on the tv, I stopped her. “We need to talk,” I said, trying to think of a good way to venture into the subject. Charlene was Cheyenne’s biggest supporter. But she didn’t understand that kind of lifestyle. And while I was proud of my daughter’s mind boggling talent, we really should foster other gifts. She’d make a brilliant scientist. Her mind was very analytical.
“What’s up?” she asked.
Wringing my hands, I blurted, “I…um…really don’t think Cheyenne should go to camp this year. She showed tonight that she’s way too immature.”
Charlene blinked. “You’re kidding me, right? Cheyenne’s been counting the days ever since she found out about it two years ago. We can’t go back on our promise now.”
I countered, “Do you really think it’s a good idea to encourage her to pursue acting? Look what it did to my family. I rarely even talk to my dad and that’s because he basically checked out when I was a kid. And Cheyenne acts before she thinks. She’ll be with a lot of influences that I’m not comfortable with.”
“What makes you think Cheyenne will be anything like your father? We raised her. Together. With our values and our love. It was totally different with your parents. Your mother didn’t even know her father until she was like…what? Eight? And your dad’s parents never really loved each other. It’s no wonder they both sucked as parents.”
“How does that make logical sense, Charlene? You don’t suck as a parent and you didn’t even have parents.”
“Because I knew I was going to suck so I read a ton of books on parenting, as you well know. Plus, I had you as a marvelous example. Look, all I’m saying is the acting isn’t what split up your parents. If they’d pursued a career in…I don’t know…knitting, I bet you a million simoleons they still would have divorced. They just weren’t right for each other. Now will you stop worrying? Cheyenne will become an actress whether we support it or not. Have you not seen how driven she is? So we either be her biggest cheerleaders and stay in her life or we fight her tooth and nail and alienate ourselves and never have the chance to be an influence on her when she needs us the most.”
I marveled at the intelligence of my wife. Of course she made perfect sense. Maybe I was hesitant because I just didn’t want to see my little girl growing up.
Charlene put her legs on me and said, “Now let’s watch some tv. You owe me a few hours of snuggling.”
I brushed my hands over her soft cheek, amazed at the overpowering feelings of love welling in me. I was so damned lucky. “How do you manage to always make me feel better?”
“Didn’t you know? I’m half witch and put you under my spell. That’s how I snagged you in college, you know.”
I laughed. “How about you cast more spells on me in our bedroom?”
Arching her eyebrow, she said, “Just bring the wand.”
Ugh. Kill me now. My uncle had been taking tons of pictures of us for the last hour. Like how many did he need? It was sooooo boring. I was hoping my bff, Kristie Barnes, would come over to relieve my suffering.
“Hold Makenna still, Kian. And smile, everyone!” Uncle Zack said. He was a professional photographer so that made him extra picky on how we were positioned.
But Makenna was so wiggly, it didn’t matter how we helped. She would try to squirm away and mess up the shot. I had to hold her back with my leg.
“Okay, I think that’s enough, Zack,” Dad said. Daddy was my hero at that moment. THANK YOU!
Kian wanted one more of us goofing off. I gave him rabbit ears for keeping me in that chair.
Finally, pictures were over and Kristie had arrived. I marched all of us to the piano. It was time to have some fun. It was hard to think up something that all of us would want to do. Little Makenna was a handful but she didn’t want to hang out with her parents (couldn’t blame her there) so in order to make her happy, we had to get creative.
I thought I’d teach her some notes like how Daddy taught me when I was her age.
But she was the WORST! She just banged on the keys making an irritating sound and scream-o-sang. Oh God, we had to do something else or my ears were going to bleed.
“How about we dance while Cheyenne plays, okay, Makenna?” Kristie suggested.
Yay for bff’s!
So, I played one of my favorites–Flight of the Bumblebee. It had a catchy, bouncy sound, perfect for a toddler to jump to.
Plus it was good for me to practice. I wanted to be at my best by the time summer hit. Couldn’t wait until I went to Plumbob Pictures Performing Arts Camp. If only this school year would fly by.
After Aunt Myla took Makenna for her nap, Kristie and I plopped down on the rug and talked.
“You know what sucks, Kristie?” I said, looking through my calendar.
“Hum?” she answered.
“We’re going to miss the freaking Jack Rackham concert because we’ll be at camp.” I A-D-O-R-E-D Jack. I had all his posters, t-shirts, buttons, magazines. And grandpa even got me SIGNED limited edition tennis shoes. They were white high tops with real gold buttons and chains. SO FREAKING COOL!
Jack Rackham was exactly my age, too, and became a super sensational WooTuber turned teen heartthrob overnight. I felt a bit proud of myself because I’d discovered him WAAAAY before anyone else heard about him. In fact, I’d even had a DM convo with him back in the day. (Well, it was like last year when we were eleven, but still!) And now, he was so famous that of course he didn’t care about little ol’ me. I’d heard his manager scans all his messages so NO ONE gets to the real him.
“Well, we’ll be in Del Sol Valley. Maybe your grandfather can get us into a concert there,” Kristie suggested.
She was always good at suggesting stuff. And usually they were good ideas but not today.
“Nope. Jack is a thousand miles away all summer. I checked his website’s schedule. After he visits Bridgeport, he goes to Windenburg. We’re out of luck.”
The only thing that sucked worse than old jellybeans was not getting to see my crush when he was only going to be two hours away! But the drama camp would be worth it. I guessed I’d have to wait six months when he did the Santa Baby tour.
I thought the school year would NEVER finish! It drug on and on. But finally, June happened! After a snooze-a-roonie long plane ride, we were finally at Plumbob Pictures Performing Arts Center where they host the camp. The place was SOOOOOO amazing! I felt like there were tickle-bees inside my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get started!
Mom said hi and talked a bunch of boring grown up stuff with one of the camp counselors.
The lady seemed nice. She was going to teach us music. I’d signed up for the violin since I suck at it.
“Is there a strict curfew at this camp?” Dad asked. “I’d heard there were a few kids who’d snuck out last year.”
Oh, DAD! How embarrassing could he get????
“We’ve made a few changes to our protocol as well as upped our security. That won’t happen again.”
Well that didn’t sound fun. But still…I would never sneak out. Why was Dad even worried?
After I thought I was going to die a thousand deaths from all his ridiculous questions, Dad decided to embarrass me even more by picking me up and hugging me in front of everyone! Geeze! Didn’t he know I was almost a TEENAGER???
“I’m going to miss you, my pumpkin pie. What will I do without you every day?”
I giggled. Daddy might have been overdramatic and totally embarrassing, but I loved him anyway. “Gonna miss you, too.”
After I had to endure even more kissing and hugging from Mom, they waved good-bye and I was all alone.
I kind of had some nervous jitters but those all flew away when Kristie surprised me! Yay! My bff!
“Right on time!” I said. “Are we going to have fun or what?”
Now I figured we’d go to the cafeteria, get a few snacks and wait on our introductions by the counselors. But instead, I got the biggest shock of my entire life! No joke. I thought I was going to die of a heart attack right there.
THE Jack Rackham was sitting in the cafeteria as if he was just some regular kid!
My heart soared out of my chest. I was in literal heaven.
Thank you Haswh for providing the beautiful Kristie Barnes who will be Cheyenne’s lifelong friend! Thank you for letting me have her! ❤
I’ll be updating sporadically now since I don’t have as much time anymore. This is a busy time of year for me so…just be on the lookout for these. I’ll try to post Mondays always and then if I have time either Wednesday or Thursday. ❤