An apple a day
My older two girls have been in the competitive choir at their high school. Think Glee without the dancing. Sunshine was in it ’12 to ’13 when she was a senior and Moonsine was in it ’13 to current starting when she was a sophomore. There was no overlapping time and you can go back and see where I wrote about them being raised by wolves because I had to yell at Sun to help Moon with her audition. Those Shines were not helpful with one another.
One of the traditions of the group is to go on a retreat to Estes Park for a bonding trip in the fall. Estes Park is beautiful. It has a cute little Main Street and they stay at the YMCA, which has a ton of activities for the whole family. Seriously, if I had a family to have a family reunion, I’d have it at the YMCA of the Rockies.
We leave after school and they sing and have pizza and then sit in a circle and do some sharing and then have a ritual I’m not allowed to talk about. It has nothing to do with chickens or sacrifice. The kids stay up almost all night and then it’s out the door to sing the national anthem in front of the flag pole:
One of the things they do that I wrote about last year is they get a post it and write two things. One thing they’re excited about this year and one fear they have. The choir teacher does it so they can all see how similar they are. And all their fears really are similar. They’re afraid they won’t fit in. But this year there were some really serious ones about the depression coming back and people hating them when they learn their secret. Deep things teenagers shouldn’t have to deal with.
Also this year she did something new. She had two apples and the kids were supposed to say something that’s been said to them that hurt them and then throw the apple down. The point at the end is that both apples look the same on the outside but they’re all bruised and battered on the inside, basically like these kids are. It was brilliant and heartbreaking and eye opening and just plain sad.
Now I’m an outsider, just watching and I know they’re going to get to Moonshine and I’m terrified she’s going to play one of my greatest hits because I’m sure we’ve all said something to our kids that we regret. But she didn’t. It was her dad and it was “have a nice life” and then she slammed the apple. Now, “have a nice life” seems like something nice you’d say to someone but to Moonshine it was a goodbye, more of a “you don’t matter”. It wasn’t the “kill yourself” that more than one student said or the other awful things that had been said to them but “have a nice life” is what her dad said when she asked him to take her off the group chat with her sisters.
She told me I couldn’t invite him to her graduation. That I can’t even send an announcement or a picture. And then when she ended up back on the group chat, and she asked again to be taken off, and he texted “as u wish”, she told me she’d always speak to me but she’d never forgive me if I invited him. Yikes. She literally said, “If you send him an announcement I will never forgive you as long as you live”, which seemed like a veiled threat that I wouldn’t live long. That Moonshine is a grudge holder.
And I asked her why, like what harm would it be to just have him at her graduation with hundreds of other people? She said, You know the part where they ask the parents to stand up and be applauded for contributing to their children’s education? Well I want you on a step stool and I don’t want him recognized at all because he didn’t do anything. That Moonshine is harsh.