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how do they work that magic?

He was beaming.

Seriously– tickled pink. My 13-year old son doesn’t “beam” very often. Can’t remember seeing this particular look on his face, actually.

“Mom! I learned the mambo and the samba tonight!” he blurted and proceeded to show me how it’s done. 

This is highly unusual.

“Who are you and what have you done with my quiet, self-conscious son?”  I almost said.  I was tickled pink myself.

A’s rehearsing for our middle school production of Bye Bye Birdie–you know, “what’s the stORy. . .morning glORy?” and “put on a happy face“–with 180 other middle schoolers.   Yes, that’s almost two hundred 6th, 7th and 8th graders–boys and girls of all shapes, sizes and abilities– acting, singing and dancing on stage. And down the ailses. And behind the seats. And wherever else they can fit them.

I’ve been blown away by the coordination of this entire effort.  Dedicated volunteer producers, directors, choreographers, high school students and throngs of parents assigned and deployed to our respective positions.  Directors drawing out the surprising talents of the eighth grade leads.  Dozens of kids for each main character (Conrad’s Crazies, Rosy’s Rowdies, etc) traipsing on stage to back up each song and dance.  Believe it or not, it works.  You should have seen the Sound of Musiclast year–seven vonTrapps with a posse in every corner. 

But here’s the coolest part:  180 middle schoolers produce something together–and they love it!  Every committed student is included.  Somehow it’s fun and cool, and so everything that goes with it is fun and cool.  Such as learning the samba.

Can you imagine what would happen if I tried to teach him the mambo or the samba?  Or even whip out Bye Bye Birdie to watch as a family?  Let’s not even go there.

So I watch my boy transform into someone new, and offer thanks for those who work the magic in middle school. 

Or maybe for the girl who danced with him.  Who knows? 

Moments like this help me find serendipity  again:  having a teenager is really quite fun

I leave you with a little taste of these wacky weeks:

 
 

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