Today I walk Hudson into his first dress rehearsal for Willy Wonka. We tour the green room, then the dressing room, and as we step out of the shadows backstage onto the main stage, I watch his eyes grow three times their normal size. All prior practices took place inside a church rec room. “Is this a real theater?” He asked in the parking lot. In this moment, with the studio lights illuminating his six-year-old face, mouth agape, he can’t hold it in – suddenly he sweeps his hands into the air, fingers splayed in dramatic ta-da fashion. I can practically feel the pitter-patter of his heart, and it transports me back to times when I’ve done something big or noteworthy – a public reading, a national television broadcast, a reality show – but none of those times feel nearly as significant as watching a bright-eyed Oompa Loompa take the stage his very first time.