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Free Fall-ing

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love the crisp, cooler air. I love SEC football. And, for the past six years I’ve enjoyed the anticipation of a great fall production at Augusta Prep. Both of my children were “theater kids,” so I spent a lot of time being the “theater mom.”

With both kids out of high school, I began missing my time as theater mom as the new school year got going. Their director, Jamie McAteer, has become a dear friend and I don’t have as much of an excuse to see him anymore.

There was, however, one time when I thought I just might wring his neck. It happened when my son, Tripp, played the part of Ren in the musical Footloose and my daughter was in the chorus.

On opening night, Tripp was the first one on stage, singing the first line from the famous song “Footloose.” My heart swelled. Tripp danced. He sang. He did the moonwalk, the worm and some maneuver that involved flipping over a chair (while standing on it) without falling down. He leapt through the air over one of the other cast members.

Tripp had warned me that there was a part in the show that I would not like. When I saw the chair maneuver and the leaping thing, I assumed those were the moves he thought would unsettle his sometimes over-protective mom.

Then, right at the end of the first act, I looked up to see him take a running leap off a set that was at least 10 feet off the ground. He was doing some sort of aerial spin. I gasped. I was stunned. I almost had a heart attack. In my shock over seeing him in the air, I hadn’t noticed that no less than 12 cast members were positioned to catch him.

At the intermission I told the choreographer I was not sure I was speaking to her. I told Mr. McAteer he was no longer my friend. They assured me that the preparation for the stunt had been safely and carefully planned. When I watch the recording of the show, the sight of Tripp’s aerobatics still leave me gasping for air!

Watching my children perform on the Prep stage was the pinnacle of “mom happiness” for me. While this is my first fall without the anticipation of a fall production, I’m pretty sure I’ll have my “theater-mom” yearning about this time of year, for many years to come.

Until November,

Karin Calloway is a wife and mother of two teenagers. She’s also a journalist and recipe developer who writes the Wednesday cooking column for The Augusta Chronicle ( You can follow Karin at Check out Karin’s cooking blog at

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