During my time away from work while recovering from surgery, I had the opportunity to be part of something I never thought I'd be involved in -- musical theater.

My 8-year-old daughter auditioned for Stage Center's production of 'A Christmas Story - The Musical' and got a spot in the children's chorus. While I was on hiatus from the radio station, and after the doc cleared me to drive again, I spent a lot of time driving her to and from rehearsals. Now, we're headed into week two of performances.

It's been an interesting process, watching some of these younger kids go from absolutely no theater experience to sharing the stage with some seasoned thespians. For my daughter Emma, being in this production has been the highlight of her year. She's been on stage in plays and in dance recitals before, but this is her first big musical appearance, and I couldn't be prouder of her for all her hard work -- so proud, in fact, that I tear up EVERY TIME I watch her perform.

I do have to say, I never thought being a theater mom would be so exhausting! I see the kids learning choreography and songs, rehearsing their lines, and going through the process of putting everything together to create a magical musical number. I've watched them try on costumes until the perfect fit is found.

Then, opening night comes. I have to say, the first performance was a little rough. There were mistakes made, costume problems, issues with some of the scenery pieces...but each one after got better. I think Saturday night was the best of the first week, and we still have one more week to go -- December 1-3. I'm sure by the matinee this Saturday, the group will have everything perfected. There are some fabulous actors in this musical!

Besides playing chauffeur to the young 'un, I've also volunteered in the downstairs girls' dressing room on performance nights at Emmett Hook Center in downtown Shreveport. Keeping track of eight girls, ranging in age from 6 to around 13, is challenging. They all have numerous costume changes, some in back-to-back songs, and it's sometimes difficult to keep track of everything. But we "room moms" have all come together with a plan that ensures our girls are where they need to be, when they need to be there, wearing what they need to wear.

I have been enjoying watching this process from beginning to end, and Emma is hoping she'll get to be involved in it again. If you haven't seen this musical yet, I recommend you check it out. It's got all the memorable scenes that you'll remember from the movie, with some fun song-and-dance numbers blended in. You WILL be entertained! And if you want to clap a little extra for my girl and her new friends, that'll be O.K., too.