If you ever get worried about the state of affairs of our youth today, just do what I did tonight; go to the musical Grease put on by an eighth grade class. Really.
This group had been together since kindergarten, so in many ways they act like brothers and sisters. But what impressed me so deeply was their spirit.
Watching them sing the 60’s songs was like going back in time. And you would have never known it was 2013; that’s how great they were. It reminded me that kids don’t really change that much over the generations, only what’s going on around them.
Despite the costumes and makeup, you could still see and feel their innocence. They were having a blast, even when they made the occasional mistake. I was so impressed with the boys, and especially how willing they were to get up and sing in front of a packed house. Their voices had the unmistakable squeaks and breaks of early puberty, but they wailed on without a hitch, often off-key and all. Everything about them shouted “awkward!”, but they didn’t seem to care; at least not on this night.
The girls exuded confidence, burgeoning sexuality, but also innocence. The play pushed them to act older, as the culture has been doing their entire lives. But you could still see the little girl in each and every one of them, and it was beautiful to see. They seemed so much more together than the boys, but they didn’t seem to care or miss a beat. It was cute.
So if you get a little freaked out about tweens and teenagers after reading the newspaper or hearing stories on the news, don’t allow yourself to judge or label all teens as messed up or troubled. On this night, what I observed was both inspiring and confirming that our kids are more than okay.