the show

Today was the final presentation, the culminating show of Relationships 101. When I leave my house it is still dark, as I drive up to juvie the sun starts to rise.

I usually drive there in the afternoon, the sun is different, the light is different, and there are moments as I drive at this different hour that I am not sure I am on the right road. Funny to see a familiar place in a new light.

It is beautiful, and I notice so many things I oversee when I am on my way up on a regular Thursday.

I am nervous, I am worried. Will all my girls be there? I have arrived to a show before and found that one was taken to court at the last min. Or another was put in solitude unable to perform.

Will the audience really come? It is far, it is in the morning. I so, so want there to be an audience. And then, I just simply panic, silly last minute panics of a busy person.

Did I take the makeup?
Do I have the certificates?
I arrive and the girls are so excited.
They too are nervous.
Their hair is done, they have makeup on – I see them in a new light.

The audience starts to arrive. Thanks to this blog I have a larger audience than usual, my heart is full seeing the people that showed up, my girls are getting giddy.

“Ms. They really came!!!” they say.

“Yes they did, I told you.” I say.

My heart exhales. They bring the entire camp to watch the show. The entire staff escorts them in, it is a little tense.

Whenever there is all-camp movement everyone is on the watch. My guests watch carefully, I watch my worlds collide.

I go out to my fabulous five, my five juvie girls, turned actresses, who are waiting to start.

“Remember NO profanity.” I say.

We chant in a warm up circle every profanity word we can think of. We must whisper because the audience is there, and that makes everyone laugh, a lot.

“Fuck Ms., really? no cussing?” one says.

“Yep” I say, “Surprise them with no cussing.”

“OK, I can do that” she says.

“Oh, you can do so much more.” I say.

The show starts, it is exactly what is should be- fun, happy, meaningful. I watch all the guards, let down their guard. I watch the guards see my girls, our girls, in a new light, much like the light I experienced in the morning.

There is song, and a spontaneous dance, there is triumph. 

But most of all, there is a new light. A new light, for the people that know these girls, but now see them for the first time.

A new light for those who are seeing them for the first time and are getting a chance to know them.

But most of all, there is a new light for the girls to see themselves.

“I am and actress, I am a poet, I have talent, I am worthy,” they say.

I try for 10 weeks to turn on the light.

I try for 10 weeks to be the light.

Today, the magic happened, and the light was shining in all its glory. It is now the end of a long day, it is dark again outside. But I know, that five girls went to sleep tonight feeling loved, feeling special, seeing the light.

I now, can turn off my light, and go to sleep content.