This is our story

G Shrek

Last week was the 6th grade musical.  The play was Shrek and Grace was the donkey (there were several).  She’s been going to rehearsal a lot and I’ve had to run to Target to buy her a black tee shirt and then a black tank top, but on the whole I had very little visibility into the play.  We never practiced her lines.  We never practiced her songs.  We never practiced her dances.  I had definitely been very hands off when it came to her experience with Shrek.  So I was excited to see her perform last week.  It was absolutely marvelous.  Grace blew me away with her confidence and her humor – she was funny and she sang well and demonstrated a fair amount of swagger on stage.  It was great. I was proud and happy for her.  These reactions did not surprise me.


What I was not expecting, though, was the swell of intense emotion, nostalgia, and joy when the entire cast sang the musical’s last song, This is Our Story.

We are witches, we are fairies
We are weirdos, I’m an Aries
We’re a giant different sampler here to try
We are puppets, we are rabbits
We are hobbits with bad habits
We’re a screwy but delighted crazy stew

We are different and united
We are us and we are you
This is our story, this is our story
This is our story

There was such tremendous power in watching these 55 children, many of whom have been in the same class since they were 4 years old, sing these words that I so loved.  .  Grace is twelve and a half, well on her way into the woods of adolescence, and there is much about life right now that doesn’t feel simple to her (or to me).  There are emotional and social and intellectual tangles aplenty at school.  But last week, as I watched children who I’ve known since they were nearly toddlers sing their hearts out, all of that was forgotten. Instead there was palpable joy and a tangible sense of triumph. They took it seriously, and they worked hard, and nobody was flip or blase.  They threw themselves into the performance, and I loved witnessing their enthusiasm, their commitment, and their energy.  I laughed and laughed, which I’d anticipated, but it was the throat-tightening rise of tears that took me by surprise.

This is their story indeed, and it’s my honor and privilege to be watching from a front row seat.


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  1. Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I got a tight throat just imaginging Alma doing this in a few years! She’s had the same friends since she was 2 or 3. I love the pics of her on stage – you can see so much of you in her. XOXO

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much – I don’t see any of me at all, and I admit I love hearing that others sometimes do!! I had tears in my eyes for much of the performance. She was just so grown-up, and so self-assured, and so joyful. I loved seeing it. xox

  2. Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I cried right along with you — because your words are beautiful and because I’ve been in that seat, watching the wonder. My youngest leaves 9th grade this year, which for us is the end of middle school (7-9). It’s a magical place, and I’d like to freeze time. Savor the moments. All of the cliched phrases are true. The years fly by.

  3. Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Love this. So true. I come undone at any kind of play/chorus performance. Such innocence, those little faces singing their hearts out. Good stuff;) xoxo

  4. Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Wow! What an accomplishment. I am so happy – what a great night for you all!

  5. Posted April 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    This is so sweet and, like the other comments say, so true. Sitting in that seat watching your child perform is remarkable. But seeing these children sing together knowing the “behind the scenes” of their social/emotional lives and the dynamics of the group would have taken my breath away.