Monday, October 29, 2012

Middle School, Rocky and Apollo 13

Day #29 of 31 Days of Storytelling

After our movie venture down Rocky lane,

(I know, you MUST be sick of hearing about Rocky)

the girls were hankering for another movie recommendation from us.

I know!
We were shocked too.

So we scrambled to find something lest they change their minds and make us watch another Disney TV show about teens going to a special school because they are smart

or can dance.

Mind numbing.

So we came up with Apollo 13.

I don't think they realized what rock stars astronauts were considered.

More on that in a minute.

This past weekend was my daughter's middle school's fall musical production.

They performed Fame Jr.

There were two different casts so that as many kids could participate as possible.

My daughter does NOT participate. She would be great at it but doesn't want anyone watching her.

I went to two different shows and my daughter's went to three each.
So we could support as many of our friends as possible.

It was so fun to see the kids stepping outside of their comfort zones and shining with a confidence that I know firsthand,

does not NATURALLY come 

with being 12, 13 and 14.

I have known some of these kids since they were 4 years old.

My daughter cried after seeing the performance for the first time with her friends.

She said she was completely sucked in by the love story between two of her friends.
(That have NO love story, I need to add.)

She was BLOWN AWAY by the singing of a girl that she had been a bit scared of in the past.

McDaniel actually cried when she sang.

You know, those happy, inspired tears that make you whisper, "Thank You" to God for giving this girl 
this voice 
on this night 
for this role.

One of her friends sitting with her "took it to church" a bit
raising her hands and cheering this formally misunderstood girl on.

McDaniel came home just bursting with pride for these kids that she sees everyday.

The smart kids,
the dancers, 
the athletes, 
the cheerleaders,
the kids that haven't quite figured out where they belong…yet.

It is so High School Musical, isn't it?
(I know. That was cheesy. But tell me where I am wrong. I dare you.)

I watched them and felt all the protective love as if I gave birth to each of them myself.

Another mom watching said that these kids will be able to do anything because they did this first

as middle schoolers.

When they all just so desperately want to fit in.

Be vanilla.

Not stand out.

They were willing to stand out.
On stage.
With a lot of make up on.

It was a great lesson for both my girls.

Back to Apollo 13.

A little back story:  McDaniel had started to say the word "nerd" a lot. You know:

"Oh he is just a nerd."
"She is the nerdy girl in the back of the room."

I HATED that.

Think of that great scene in Apollo 13 when something goes wrong

you know, "Houston, we have a problem,"

and the astronauts don't know if they have enough power to get back to earth

but the engineers

those awesome glasses-wearing


sat in a room 
until they
figured it out.

I told the girls that every single one of those engineers

were the smartest kids in their class.

They may have been picked last

for every kickball game.

They may or may not have had a date to the prom.
People probably called them nerds.

But they brought all those astronauts safely back to earth.

It was their Rocky beating Russia's Drago in Rocky IV moment.

Their misunderstood girl singing her talented heart out

for the first time

on stage in Fame Jr. moment.

It was brilliant.

After the musical, we went to congratulate the cast and found them all hugging each other crying.

Yep, these 13 and 14 year-old girls AND boys were just sobbing.
(It nearly broke McDaniel's heart.)

They didn't want it to be over.

They didn't want to go back to being vanilla after being 
so NOT vanilla
even for just a little while.

It is like why Rocky couldn't stay out of the ring even when everyone thought he was going to get slaughtered.
(Stay with me.)

It is why man went back to the moon after Apollo 13's near disaster.

We all want our "moment".

We all were made with the desire to want someone to whisper "Thank You" to God for us.

And when we get it.

We want it to last.

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