Jewish Journal

Who says you can’t go home?

by Mrs. Shoshana F

March 13, 2008 | 1:24 pm

If anyone had told me 16 years ago that I would be sitting in my high school auditorium with my husband, my bubbe, my father and my father’s girlfriend—I would have said they were crazy.
But isn’t it funny how life can change?

The first time I sat in that auditorium I was a lowly freshman; my sister, who last week was singing and dancing on stage, was just two months old; my father was still married to my stepmother; and my husband was a senior in high school nearly 2,000 miles away.

Last weekend, I went home to Chicago. My husband, who had spent the week in the Midwest on business trip flew to meet me and we spent the night at my bubbe’s house in the burbs. I was in charge of driving, since I was the most comfortable with getting behind the wheel in snow.

After dropping my husband and bubbe off in the front, I parked the car in the large lot – odd for me, because when I was a student, I would usually park in back (closer to the school).

As I, in my winter boots, made my way to the entrance, I couldn’t help but notice my shadow … taller than the last time I had entered the building.

I walked into the lobby area in front of the auditorium and spotted two of my teachers – a rarity considering most of my sister’s teachers are younger than I.

“Hi Mr. H!” I said, to the man who taught me theater for two of the four years I was at the school.

He turned and his mouth dropped open and he exclaimed “Shoshana!”

The teacher he was with, who was the drama club supervisor, had a huge smile on her face.
I gave Mr. H a hug and turned to the handsome man next to me: “Mr. H, I don’t think you’ve met my husband. Mr. H taught me all I know about improv.”

As my husband shook Mr. H’s hand he said, “so YOU are the one who taught Shoshana all of her tricks?”

Mr. H said, “Guilty.”

I acknowledged the other teacher standing next to him and said: “They both did. I had my first directing job in Mrs. F’s drama program.”

Mr. H asked what I was doing there and I told him my sister was in the musical.

He shook his head and said: “I feel old” and then introduced me to his daughter, who was born when I was a sophomore.

The lights flickered and it was time to go in.

As we walked away, my husband asked if this whole thing was strange for me.

As I sat there with my family, I looked at the stage I had the pleasure of stepping onto many times in my four years at that high school.

I looked at him, squeezed his hand and smiled: “No,” I told him. “It’s like being home – only I think the room shrunk.”

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