On Friday, the dreaded (only to me) cap and gown came home with Mini Me. It is the gorgeous shade of purple that is his school color. When he got it out of the bag, I audibly burst into tears. “OH MY GOD, MOM! If you are going to do that, then you cannot hold it!” he said. Then he made a quick move and I thought he was about to stomp out of the room, as he is prone to do. Instead, the quick move was to grab me and hug me, which turned my quick tears into sobs. “It’s going to be okay”, he said. ” I know”, I said–or at least that’s what I was trying to say. I have tears streaming down my face as I am writing this now…. I got myself together, as we had to move on to other things. Our wonderful school, Dekalb School of the Arts, was having Fringe Festival! This is when all of the performing groups put on small performances for everyone to see. We went to see The Middle Child perform in the choral performance on Friday night, and then I went to see Yacht Rock Review do a Prince Tribute with my friends at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I wish I had actually worn the damn cap and gown, as a couple of my friends had suggested, because everyone had on purple! On Saturday, we got up early. The Baby had a soccer game–right smack dab in the middle of The Middle Child’s Thespian Show, of course. JC took The Middle Child to school and got the rest of us Starbuck’s and came home. Mini Me and I got ready and got ourselves to the school to see The Middle Child perform. She was fabulous. I was so proud of her. She is a vocal major and drama minor at DSA and is in 8th grade. The drama teacher told her recently how proud the staff is of her for auditioning for so many things this year, and how 8th graders don’t normally do that. She had entered a painting in the art show the night before, and it was selected–and she is not even an art student! I am so proud of her for going right in there and making a name for herself from the get-go. SO…Mini Me and I watched the fabulous Thespian Show and then Mini Me took my car to go pick up his drummer. Mini Me met his drummer at Berklee College of Music last summer when he was there for the Five Week Summer Program. They have stayed in contact since then, and Chris (the drummer), doesn’t live terribly far from us. Nathanael was playing the keyboard. He also goes to DSA, Mini Me has known him since kindergarten! This was the first time the three of them had ever played together, and they were going to play on the big stage right in front of the school at 2:30. I wandered around and chatted and ate some junk I did not need to eat, and watched some other great performances until it was time for me to set up my chair for the show. Of course, clouds were rolling in. I got all set up. JC and The Baby got there. MiMa and PaPa were there. Big, hard rain drops started to fall and the wind was blowing. We had to move inside. I thought this was par for the course. We moved inside. I figured Mini Me just wouldn’t get to play and I was trying to be okay with that. I was chatting with a friend, when Mini Me walked by with an amp and said, “Mom, we are playing in the cafeteria–come on!” I picked up my chair, my bag, my purse, my hat, and my plate of delicious homemade junk food, and hauled ass to the cafeteria, where JC and The Baby had a nice, ice cold, healthy Coke Zero waiting on me, and a seat front and center. The cafeteria was the hub of all that was going on at Fringe Festival. That’s where the food was being sold. That’s where the most people would be. Being moved to the cafeteria was actually a blessing in disguise…..They played under the name “Barely Naked”, and thank God,they were not. I was fine, or I thought I was. It wasn’t until Mini Me started playing his guitar solos–with his teeth and then with the guitar behind his head…. All I could think about was the first summer that he went to Camp Jam. I think he was 10 years old. It was sleep away camp, but it was here in Atlanta. They put the kids in “bands” and all week, each band works on a song. Mini Me’s band played “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. His little self stood there, completely still, staring at his guitar, or at the floor–the entire time–no stage presence–no movement–and I remember thinking, “Oh shit. We just spent $1200 to put him through this?” He looked completely miserable! But he had said he loved it and went back 4 or 5 more years! And each year, his confidence and stage presence improved. And then last year, he went to Berklee College of Music for five weeks and made it into the Top 10 Singer/Songwriter Showcase….So, I am sitting there, watching Mini Me, having these flashbacks, and that is when the tears started to escape from the corners of my eyes–just a tiny bit…he was up there on the stage, in the cafeteria of the school where he has been able to be himself for the past 5 years…even though he has complained every step of the way, I know deep down in his heart that he is going to miss it–the way that all of us did when high school ended. The audience was going nuts-they were playing Hendrix….Voodoo Child….and Mini Me….well, he is exactly that…..he is my Voodoo Child, as I was my Mothah’s Voodoo Child…Lord knows I was a Voodoo Child, baby…..