Monday, February 18, 2013

Not your stereotypical teenagers

I help with Homeschool Performing Arts, the drama group Michael, Amy and Rebecca have been a part of for five years. I’m there at each rehearsal, and, for the past seven months, I’ve gotten to know many of the students in this year’s cast. There are 84 of them, and they range in age from 12 – 18. The show opens this Thursday – I got a sneak peak at a few dress rehearsals this weekend and I am totally amazed at what these kids can do. They sing! They dance! They act! There’s also an absolutely adorable orchestra conductor...*

As amazed as I am by their abilities on stage, it’s what I observe backstage that really blows my mind. They are kind to one another. They are respectful of the other parents who are working with them. There is no bullying or mean-spirited teasing (regular teasing – you bet). Seniors willingly play cards with 7th graders. When I give my announcements, the worst thing that happens is one or two of them talk. But when I get their attention, they stop. And generally, they apologize to me afterward.

Remember: these are teenagers. The world says kids this age will be sassy and rude and unkind and cliquey. But that is not what I see. I see kids who are kind. Who look out for their peers. Who strive to listen well and when they don’t, apologize. Who love the sometimes unlovely. Who show grace when mistakes are made (often by me).

Are they perfect? Nope. But they are not the kinds of mean, rude teenagers portrayed in today’s media. If you fear for the future of our country, take heart; there are at least 84 kids I feel confident will do us proud.

I love these kids and I am really, really going to miss them when the final curtain falls this Saturday night.

If you’re in the area, come on over and see the show! The costumes are amazing, the dancing’s fun and that orchestra conductor is pretty fantastic!*

*That would be Sean.