I am so enjoyed this year's Haddon Township High School musical. It was even more special because Nicholas was able to join the children's choir and get to know the HT arts program that awaits him if he is interested once he gets to middle school. Lily was a member of the ensemble for Joseph. Whenever she is rehearsing for a musical at the high school, she is always in such a good headspace. She is exhausted, but energetic. She is over scheduled, but fulfilled.
The show was wonderful and so much fun. There are truly so many talented kids in town. This year also felt special because I've watched so many of the seniors perform since middle school and this is it--next year, they will be on to wherever they go.
High school is so unique because you get to do things, like perform in musicals, that you might not ever do again. I don't think you realize it when you there and I don't think you even realize it when it is over. I think you realize it sometime when you are adult that you once were someone else entirely.
In high school, I so enjoyed performing during the half time shows with the band. It's funny because I was forced to join Color Guard by my father (who declared I had to do an activity or else get a job). I was not that interested in it or even interested in performing. I wasn't a long time dancer like my children are nor did I ever have dreams of being on the stage. I was mostly interested in going to Battle of the Bands and listening to high school grunge bands, hanging out at the mall, putting on eyeliner and secretly reading my books (but telling no one because I was not about to be labeled a super nerd). But, once I learned how to dance and spin flags and how to do drill, I found that I loved putting on a show.
Then high school ended. And while I was in Temple's color guard for one year, it wasn't the same. I wasn't the same. It is only now that I see how much the end of high school signaled the end of who I was then. I took so much from those days performing, though. I learned so much about leadership and self confidence and showing up to be part of a team and how performance is such a release from reality. It is a knowing escape. And it is the reason I still dance in my car and my kitchen and scream my lungs out to my favorite songs with my kids.
I feel silly even reminiscing about it now--a bit like Al Bundy reliving his big game--but I am seeing how Lily's high school time is getting closer and closer to the end. And I am not sad about it; I am curious; curious about who she will become and where she will go and how much she will change, but still stay the same. I wonder what lessons she'll draw on as she grows up? I have a feeling that unlike me, she will keep finding ways to perform and using performance to help kids, who like her, were underestimated and marginalized.
And I am so glad that I have a front row seat for all of it.