The Circle of Life

At the moment, my daughter is very into a few things; in particular: Her cute camp counselor, puzzles and The Lion King.

And I have to say, there are only so many times that you can hear “Circle of Life” without reflecting on it’s meaning just a bit.

It’s the Circle of Life

And it moves us all.


I just spent the better part of an hour trying to find the post in which I told the story about how my mom and I would drive to my beloved drama camp every single day and listen to songs 10-13 on Disk 2 of the Rent Soundrack. We used to call it our “Super Set”.

I have written about music for years because music is a huge part of my life. I have also written a lot about Rent, the musical and I just simply can not find the post for which I was looking. I found my own story of bringing THIS musical to THAT same camp last summer, but still, the post eludes me.

The summer before I entered into High School my mom and I shared a special time each morning, listening to songs that were evocative (OMG the “I’ll Cover You” Reprise) and car-dance-able (“What You Own”). It was our thing. I have lived over half of my life since that time, but it is still such a poignant memory for me.

And then, yesterday, I picked up my daughter from her drama camp.


When I was in college, I had the privilege of being on the ground floor of a Performing Arts Center that, in the past decade, has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I started a vocal music program there, served as vocal director for musicals and even acted in some of the shows. I remember, this very minute, when my beloved former teacher, the woman at the helm of this Center, watched me with my class as she sent an email that said “I am watching a teacher…”

And then, I knew what I wanted to do.

I taught there from 2005, when it opened, until 2010, when I became a mother. I learned so, so, so much.


This is where it gets funny. My last first date was not anything big or grand, but oh was it special.

My husband and I hung out, as if we had known each other for ages, he brought me Rice Krispie Treats and I was unable to get into the bar across the street because I was not yet legal.

I met my husband while wearing a pair of cute shoes, black pants and the T-Shirt from the Performing Arts Center from above. I had just directed a showcase performance for one of my classes, and in an effort to make it home on time, I did not have the chance to change. So, his first impression of me included an aqua t-shirt in a child’s size.

My husband came to many subsequent productions at the PAC, as I was both on and off stage, and it was just a part of our story.

In fact, the last time that I acted in a real stage play, I was five months pregnant with my daughter, playing the role of Mrs. Arable, the mom, in Charlotte’s Web.

So, there’s that.


“Where is this all going?” you may ask.

Well, here’s the kicker:

Today, my husband and I will be in the audience as our daughter performs on stage at the very same Performing Arts Center, wearing a shirt that is almost identical to the one that I wore on the first date with her dad.

She is doing a showcase on “Fractured Fairy Tales” and in it they sing the song “Happily Ever After” from Once Upon A Mattress.

I did one play at my High School, besides being very active in singing.

It was Once Upon A Mattress.



Yesterday, as I drove my daughter home from camp, I played a little bit of this most special CD,

my kids’ favorite Hozier song, and then, as I looked in my console, I popped in a familiar, orange-colored disk that is worn with age, but that I still marvel at with each listen as if I am hearing it for the first time.

Rent. Disk 2. Songs 10-13.

My daughter’s favorite song is #12, “Goodbye Love”, and she has standing dibs on being Mimi.

That’s fine because I am totally Maureen.

Camp. Rent. The “Super Set”. Mother and daughter singing in unison.

It’s the circle

the circle of life.


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