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In our area, we have the coolest program that friends of ours started in 2012. Several of our local high school IB students created a partnership program with our middle school, whereas high school students produce and direct the middle school musical each fall.

Our family was so fortunate to be directly involved with this program. Both of my kids were in shows while in middle school; my son went on to co-direct the show with a friend his senior year. It is hard to describe the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go in to creating this truly amazing production each year. Every year I feel blown away by the talented middle schoolers on stage and the dedicated high school students who put in tons of volunteer hours.

This past week I had the chance to see this year's show, which featured a lot of kids we still know on cast and on crew. It was so much fun, and such a great performance.

But with my own kids being older, and the impacts of Covid, it has been a long time since I walked into our middle school. I was surprised by how much emotion I felt rather suddenly as I pulled in the parking lot. Running into old friends from years around this program and other shows at both schools, and being back in the theater space where as a parent volunteer I also spent uncounted hours, I felt very nostalgic and sentimental. Everywhere I looked I felt I saw ghosts of myself and many people I love, echoes of past productions, even the work of my son's Eagle Scout project. I also felt humbled to have been so involved in the past, when so few of the new stars now knew our family or our personal involvement.

It is a sweet and loving thing to have the opportunity to return to a place where you see invisible fingerprints of your past life. It is an honor to see little ways that maybe you held a temporary torch generously passed to you, before passing it on to others. It is beautiful to watch something impactful continue under the kind and watchful eyes of others. It is perspective giving to see things continue well past you. It is inspiring to see kids grow and thrive into leaders.

When you take a moment to look around your life, where do you see fingerprints? Where have you left a legacy or lasting impact? Who has left fingerprints on your life, that perhaps would appreciate hearing from you? Take time to acknowledge the little things that have created large and lasting memories.

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