March 13, 2008
Who says you can’t go home?
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 bubbeâs 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 â 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 couldnât help but notice my shadow â¦ 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 â a rarity considering most of my sisterâs teachers are younger than I.
âHi Mr. H!â 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 âShoshana!â
The teacher he was with, who was the drama club supervisor, had a huge smile on her face.
As my husband shook Mr. Hâs hand he said, âso YOU are the one who taught Shoshana all of her tricks?â
Mr. H said, âGuilty.â
I acknowledged the other teacher standing next to him and said: âThey both did. I had my first directing job in Mrs. Fâs drama program.â
Mr. H asked what I was doing there and I told him my sister was in the musical.
He shook his head and said: âI feel oldâ 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: âNo,â I told him. âItâs like being home â only I think the room shrunk.â