So this happened today.
Totally on their own, some of my former students came at the end of rehearsal today. They brought cupcakes and candles and Dr. Pepper. Mostly, they brought themselves, which is the greatest gift of all.
But honestly, they cannot know just how much this meant because I don’t think they can know how much I love them—how much I’ll always love them. This was about the nicest thing I can think of.
Next to God, my wife, and my own kids, I love these guys more than just about anything or anyone I can think of. Even though they are gone, they’re part of my heart and I think about, worry, hope, and pray for them.
We spent some happy hours laughing and reminiscing about plays and other memories, and I relished the chance to hear about their all the exciting things they are doing now. I also loved sitting back and listening to them talk and laugh with each other. They’ve all gone on to different high schools, and so they don’t see each other as often.
There’s a lot of water under our collective bridges; we’ve been through a lot. Part of that is the magic of theatre, which creates durable bonds. But another part of that is perhaps the fact that I watched them survive the awkward throes of adolescence. I saw them as they were just beginning to glimpse who they could be, and watched them take the first steps toward their adult selves. Seeing them grow from being awkward adolescents to articulate, confident, funny, considerate young men and women is a huge joy for me.
How did I get this lucky? I don’t know, but with the sweet things my wife did earlier in the week, the fact that my daughter spent hours making cupcakes for my cast on Wednesday, and now this delightful surprise, I’m feeling like a very wealthy man this week.
Thank you, guys. I love you.
Reliving the past...
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