He Would Love to Play Willy Wonka.

And just when we all thought the auditions were finally over….

Dylan, as you may recall from my last blog post, was very sick and missed school again on Monday.

I got a call early on Monday morning from Dylan’s drama director. First, I thought she was the school’s automated system, calling me for a substitute teaching job. Thinking she was an automated robot, I hung up on her.

When the phone rang again, I answered the phone and waited for the robot to start talking.

After a long pause and no robot, I said, “Hello?”

Dylan’s director introduced herself and said, “I’ve had a lot of people drop out of the play over the weekend, and I’ve had to do some recasting. Would Dylan be interested in playing the role of Willy Wonka instead of Grandpa Joe?”

My heart leaped for him. WOULD he! He would be delighted! He would be over the moon! Yes! Yes! He would LOVE that!

But Dylan was asleep, with a 101-degree fever, and it wasn’t my decision to make. I knew he’d like to play Willy Wonka, but I didn’t feel right accepting the role for him.

But … I’m his mom. At that exact moment, my main job was to let him sleep, hopefully to get over his fever and get plenty of much-needed rest.

“Um, well, Dylan’s sick,” I sputtered.

“I heard he was sick,” she said. “That’s why I’m calling him at home.”

I had to do something – fast. I couldn’t wake him up. I just couldn’t. Still, she needed an answer, so she could move forward.

“Yes, sure,” I said. “He could do that. He would love to play Willy Wonka.”

“Okay, thanks,” she said, and hung up, presumably to go and cast the rest of the play.

I printed out a Congratulations Mr. Wonka note, complete with a picture from the book by Roald Dahl, and put it in front of Dylan’s door.

Two hours later, Dylan woke up and came downstairs.

“Really?” he croaked, hair askew and barely awake.

“Really,” I said.

He smiled a huge smile. “That’s awesome,” he said.

Then we had a long talk about the expectations of the directors, and what his commitment means to the cast. I reminded Dylan to treat this role like a job. Dylan is excellent at jobs. He works hardest when he knows people are depending on him. He never lets up, not even for a moment, and he gives it everything he’s got.

Dylan is not as good at school, and it is a school play. But in this case, I think he can transfer his professionalism to where it’s needed most.

Because people sure are depending on him.

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