When I was in the fifth grade, I found Stephen Sondheim’s home address in a reference book at the public library. This armed me with all I needed to begin a years-long correspondence with my hero. While I have kept most of his letters to me, I believe this is the only letter to him that survives. It was written when I was 13, several years into this project of mine.
Looking back, I am so embarrassed but also a little bit charmed by my 13-year-old self. And of course, Steve’s response is perfect, treating me with consideration and taking me seriously on my own terms. (Of course, I don’t remember writing songs, definitely never started the theater company, and very quickly purchased the albums in question. And 20+ years later I finally got my hands on the songs from A Pray by Blecht.)
This - including the blue “COPY” stamp - tells you pretty much everything you need to know about me at age 13.
My friend Cheryl keeps a mommy blog called Busy Since Birth. For the last couple of months, she’s been profiling friends and acquaintances to get at the idea of what it means to “have it all,” a big topic particularly among working mothers. She didn’t want her project to focus only on her core audience, though, so she asked me to add my voice. What does it mean for a bachelor to “have it all?” (And do I have it?) Read on…