When I heard that my daughter's middle school would perform "Antigone," the Greek tragedy originally written by Sophocles, circa 442 BC, I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical about their ability as adolescents to pull off such a complex and intense production.
I barely understood Shakespeare in middle school, so I was worried that this material would be way over their heads.
Every night as we rehearsed lines or talked about the day's play practice, I would ask my sixth grader if she truly understood the words she was saying. Her answer was always yes -- the director had explained them.
But it wasn't until the night I sat in the front row of the theater and listened to these young people recite the lines that I realized how much they truly did understand. Not only were they flawless in their delivery, but their inflection and emotion proved they knew exactly what they were saying. Suddenly, a story that I had struggled to comprehend while I was in school came to life in a way that I could never have imagined with such young actors. Even the actors with the small parts like my daughter stayed in character throughout the play, maximizing every moment on stage.
Frankly, I was awed. It made me realize that today's generation is capable of so much if we only give them an opportunity to shine and overcome challenges.
My husband was proud of our daughter as we left the theater that night. So was I. And I was also proud of the entire cast and the teachers who dared to tackle something so daring.
"Can you believe we made her?" my husband said with a smile.
My answer is the same every time I look at her spreading her wings, becoming an independent young woman...
"No, I really can't imagine how we pulled that off."
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.