Am I the only one who wishes I could have known what my partner was like as a kid? I mean, I know bits and pieces thanks to stories from his parents and from his longtime friends, and from the grainy '90s photos that exist of him in ringer tees and cargo shorts. Still, I would have loved to have gone to camp with him, or to have seen him run track, or play in the band he was in with his friends, or act in the plays he did when he was in high school drama.
All that said, I know that, yes, these experiences came with him and that they’ve shaped him as an adult. I mean, he teaches Film Production now, so it’s not hard to see that something about that his drama experience agreed with him. And, as his partner, I’m not complaining about that. After 10 years together, I think some of that experience has played out awesomely in our home life, in both big and small ways. I could be a little biased since I'm his biggest fan (aside from our toddler son who has been known to approach level-10 meltdown status when dad leaves the room), but still, please allow me to explain how former drama kids make the greatest partners:
They're Total Team Players
My partner doesn't have any siblings, but I've never really found him to suffer from any of the negative stereotypes of only children. I blame the fact that he's been working with others for most of his life.
They Are Flexible And Adaptable
Now that we are parents, I'm super-thankful he brought this skill to our marriage. Our toddler's moments away from tears while we're in line at Target? No fear. His dad's ready and willing to entertain him with improvised cleaning product puppets until we can get to the car.
They're Not Afraid To Be Silly
Oh hey, perhaps you've heard that toddlers like being silly? Actually, I think most adults do too, if you ask them honestly. Which means that it's really nice to have someone around who isn't phased by a spontaneous dancing or gibberish conversation or a sheep/cow living room party (yeah, I don't know, either.)
They Can Keep It Together When Your Kid's Upset (Or Any Other Challenge Unexpectedly Pops Up)
Maybe this has something to do with, you know, the entire premise of acting, which is to convey an emotion that's not the same thing you feel. Just a stab in the dark.
They Will Support Your Creative Pursuits
The importance of this one will surely vary from household to household, but as a writer, I am forever grateful that my husband has never flinched when I've expressed a desire to work in a creative field.
They Make Awesome Voices During Storytime
I'm still trying to covertly capture his masterful grumpy dinosaur on video, but the stars have not aligned just yet. Stay tuned.
They're Open To Feedback And Tough Conversations
Whether that's, "Hey dear, what should we do with our lives?" or, "Hey dear, how should we raise our son?" or "Hey dear, can we talk about those scratchy whiskers?" I know he can handle it like a pro.
They Value The Arts
With a mom who writes and a dad who teaches film, our son has pretty much no chance to escape his childhood without mastering some kind of creative pursuit. Personally, I'm rooting for woodworking, but we'll see where he lands.
They're Not Phased By An Audience
Does our son need discipline when we have people over? Does he need his diaper changed when we're out in public? No matter what, we're covered. Former drama kids are used to watchful eyes.
They Bring Awesome Fort-Building Skills
What is a fort if not an elaborate blanket set installed in your living room?
Perhaps one of the best things about former drama kids: They've played a range of characters and portrayed a spectrum of emotions, and they've seen their peers do the same. It's hard to be judgmental when you've practiced walking in others' shoes.
They Feel Strongly About Sharing Stories With Your Kiddos
Reading time is practically sacred in our house, and as much as my partner and I are working on boundaries (especially at bedtime), we often bend and read our son just one more book before bed.
They're Not Afraid Of A Little Hard Work
You know, hard work, that thing required in pretty much all relationships and every aspect of parenthood? You can be sure that they won't shy away from it.