My oldest son turned 16 this summer, on the 16th…which made it his Golden Birthday! We call him Drama Boy because he has been acting for years. I remember when he was 3 and would perform all of Godspell on his top bunk when “no one” was looking.
We wanted to do something special, so we suggested a multi course dinner for him and his friends. Drama Boy has been raised in a foodie home, so he quickly saw the value in this idea! Devon and I planned a surprise menu developed with Asian influence in mind (Drama Boy loves sushi!) We decided to host the dinner outside by tiki torch. We planned and schemed! Devon went and bought a large assortment of fireworks, including a special Golden Firework with 16 shots! But, with all the preparation, we could not begin to prepare for how the evening would roll out!
The night came and we had 9 sixteen year old boys. Some were Drama Boy’s childhood friends and some were new friends from his all Arts high school. Some of the boys lived in the inner city of Baltimore and other boys played lacrosse and soccer in upper income suburban neighborhoods.
Chris Ann and her son (Drama Boy’s best friend) were in town for the celebration. The table was set.
The first course came out.
The adults had readied themselves to come to the rescue if the conversation were to take a lull or get awkward. We totally assumed the boys would inhale the food and be done in an hour. We were so wrong.
Those boys rose to the occasion. There was something very magical that happened that night. Soon, Chris Ann and I (who were serving the food while Devon cooked) found ourselves lingering, quietly, trying to get a morsel more of their conversation. We wished we could be a fly on that outdoor table.
What we did witness were boys from very different worlds, ask one another questions about their lives and share details about their own. They were listening, intently to one another. If food came out that one of the boys had never tried, the others quickly encouraged them to take a bite.
They laughed. There was never a moment where conversation wasn’t happening.
The adults were silenced…in awe.
After dinner, the boys came in. One of Drama Boys’ Theater friends from the city shared with the boys a piece he wrote.
Gravy gave us permission to share (he’s working on a video for me so you can see it for yourself soon!)…here is an excerpt.
“Yes I need more but I know what I’m fighting for. So I close my eyes. I’m not sleeping. I’m just dreaming. I pray 2 god “give me meaning because I am lost.” Yes I’m lost and confused luck lost too son. But I know where I wanna go and I know where I’ve come from. Even though I feel I can no longer run. I once heard Sam Cooke say that a change gone come. My grandmother always whispers in my ear that a change gone come. So instead of running I walk and strive to keep a steady speed and stare up at the sky at this faceless creed. I hate to bleed but that’s what I gave just to live out a dream. So for you to tell me not to dream, don’t fly because I have no wings well that’s obscene because like a crack addict for these dreams I fene. And I hold all of these dreams in my fist and all of me flows through my wrist and flows out like sierra mist and this fist isn’t pro-black, asian, white or muslim, christian, jew. This fist is pro-you. This fist is me too.” By Aaron Pashtun
The night ended with fireworks and more exchanges between the boys. By the end, the suburban, soccer kids were trying their hand at free style rap, only to be encouraged by their new city brothers!
Golden LoveFeast was in the air all night!