The official countdown of “Lasts” has begun, as Cait rolls into her final quarter of her senior year.
Last night was the last talent show that I’ll ever attend with Cait at her high school.
After an exhausting day of long meetings and short deadlines, I got home well after supper. Cait took one look at my bedraggled self and said, “Mom, you don’t have to come.”
I didn’t let myself sit down at the table because I knew that would have been the end of me; I wouldn’t have been able to drag myself anywhere except to bed.
I didn’t even take off my coat. I grabbed a bite standing up, walked back toward the door and said, “You driving or me?”
Now, if you’ve ever been to a school talent show, you may be wondering about my willingness to subject myself to this special brand of torment.
Aside from the fact that this is always something Cait and I have done together, there is just something about the whole experience that transfixes me.
Last night was no exception.
Without fail, every year, there’s some poor kid who’s pushed himself outside of his comfort zone to share something personal he loves to do. Last night, this badge of courage went to a sophomore boy who played the guitar and sang a song that he’d written.
He was so painfully shy, that I reflexively cringed for him. He scuffled over to the mike, took a couple of strums on his guitar and launched into the quietest and most quivered singing I think I’ve ever heard. He stumbled over the first few words, then stopped to compose himself. Hands shaking, he started all over again. My heart dropped through the floor for him.
We all know how cruel kids that age can be. And you might have expected that this kid was in for some pretty heavy heckling for his less than “American Idol” worthy performance.
You’d have been wrong.
An auditorium full of jocks and emos and geeks all roared with encouragement and applause. Any time he stumbled, the heartfelt cheering of his peers raised him back up, until he finally finished to a standing ovation.
An equivalent of that has happened at every school performance I’ve ever been to. That’s why I didn’t want to miss the show last night. I knew there’d be that moment where my spirits would get lifted to the heavens.
Many people don’t hold out much hope for the younger generations. Getting to witness what’s so very, very good about this generation– I’ve come to learn just how worthy they are of great hope.