Perfecting the Mad Dash


Buddy and I have a saying to describe one of our mother son rituals. It is called the MAD DASH. Right now, we only have a Mad Dash every Tuesday. Last year, the Mad Dash was every Monday and Wednesday. When I have shows or an insane rehearsal schedule, like when I am working with a theater company, the Mad Dash can be every day.

What is a Mad Dash you may ask? A Mad Dash is when I have 30 minutes or less to pick up Buddy from school or an activity, drop him off at daycare or with his dad, and get to rehearsal or a technique class. It is a Mad Dash because Tucson is a city that is very spread out and the interstate does not run directly through town. That usually means red lights every half a mile at 35 miles per hour driving.

The Mad Dash can be very anxiety producing, stressful and involve a lot of yelling on my behalf. A Mad Dash may also involve some road rage on my part especially if the Mad Dash is close to a performance I am directing and producing, or when I have grant deadlines.

As an introvert who takes a long time to warm up and get in the zone to work and write, cutting up my concentration by running all over town stuck in traffic when I have a deadline looming is insanely frustrating because it is a large distraction (See Blog Post #1). The Mad Dash can also be insanely stressful, especially on days when I leave the house at 7:45am and won’t be returning until 11pm that evening. On these days, I have to be on top of everything: homework, piano books, water bottles, snacks, rehearsal bags with notes, music, costumes for dancers, lap top to get work done in parking lots, outside of speech therapy, or choir, wherever I can find a moment. Buddy has learned my “please turn green, please turn green” mantra I say to the lights every half mile. And he knows when I say “gas pedal” I mean “get your shoes on, pick up your things and get out of the door 5 minutes ago.”

Lately, however, with the whole company hiatus thing, my stress level is much lower these days and the Mad Dashes have been upbeat and something fun that we laugh at and joke about. For example, the Tuesday Mad Dash usually begins with Buddy racing his friends to the parking lot after choir rehearsal and ends with a guessing game about who will arrive first at the rendezvous point for the Buddy drop off at a Jimmy John’s parking lot, me and Buddy or my partner. The significant other usually wins.

Right now, that Tuesday Mad Dash happens between Buddy and my rehearsals. Buddy is in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and studies piano so now he and he is also a performing artist with rehearsals and call times and shows. I was always sad that my husband retired from dance right after we got married. Now I think it may be a good thing. I can barely juggle two performing artists rehearsal schedules! I can’t even imagine trying to coordinate three! And between Buddy and me, I foresee many more Mad Dashes in the future.

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