Do you ever look back on your childhood and think about the people and events that made a profound impact on your life? There is one family in particular that may or may not know the importance they have in my life, the Liptaks.
When I was in first grade, the Liptaks moved up to Washington from California, and in their transition, stayed with my family. They say that kids make friends easily, and it was no different for their children and us. By the end of our first day we were down in the basement choreographing our musical video to Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance With Somebody.” For me, this was the ultimate situation because I now had live in friends (although temporary) that liked to play the way I did.
Eventually they moved to their own home, but we still had many sleepovers and play dates where our adventures continued. We performed musicals in their bedroom and dug through the most amazing costume collection I had ever laid eyes on. We tried to create a business down at the park, but of course the making up of the commercials became our main focus. We spent many days at the swimming pool reenacting the whole “Little Mermaid” movie. This family was definitely theatrical! Everything about them was exciting, playful and imaginative and it was through them I developed my life long love for theatre.
The Liptak’s took me to my very first stage production at the local High School. It was of Li’l Abner and I still recall where I sat, how the stage looked and where the actors sat during the opening scene. It was through the mother that I eventually got to audition for my very first play and experience the magic behind the curtain for myself. Every thing we did together I’m able to recall like the most wonderful fairy tale, because every memory feels like it was sprinkled with pixie dust.
One memory that stands out was of a time they watched us when our parents went out of town. During this time we had a major ice storm and were trapped inside. Looking back I wonder if they ever felt the tiniest bit stressed having to entertain 6 kids at once or if we even developed cabin fever. The one thing I do recall is Valerie deciding to read us, “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Before this point I was not at all fond of books, and sitting still was much too boring. Sometimes it takes a special person to change your opinion, and mine was changed the moment a story was read by Valarie Liptak, a mother, teacher, actress, and theatre connoisseur.
Jim and Valerie I want you know, even though it was only for a short time that we lived close, that you made a great impact on my life. There are so many things I’ve taken from my time with you and your family that has shaped the way I parent. I hope to build amazing and beautiful, creative children as you have done.