When we moved to Florida, Hanna had just turned 7 and was in the first grade. She was put into Miss Grippo’s class and from the first moment we met her, I knew she would be a perfect fit for Hanna.
Her class had been working on a musical to earn money for a trip to Disney World and she told me that Hanna could be in the chorus, but wouldn’t have a part of her own because it was only a few weeks until show time.
Within a week, Hanna had a part…and knew her lines and everyone else’s.
The next year, Hanna stayed in Miss Grippo’s class, though she was now Mrs. Caponi. And Mrs. Caponi and Mr. Caponi started a drama school, which of course Hanna had to be part of. They performed at senior centers, Downtown Disney and shared children’s musical theater with our community through amazing shows.
And I think Hanna knew every part in every musical she was ever in.
Drama was the perfect activity for Hanna – it combined her love of talking and her natural flair for the dramatic with her ability to memorize. She performed in many shows with the Caponi’s Cannolis and was able to help out a little as an older student.
It was a bonus to us that Mr. and Mrs. Caponi became our friends Angelo and Jennifer, and our neighbors too.
And I was reminded again this week of the tapestry of our lives – and how it’s not just family members that invest into the weavings of children, but those around them.
Hanna joined FFA this year, and took part in the Opening/Closing Ceremony Competition this week as a Greenhand. Her group took silver and, on her own, she received Outstanding Sentinel. She is poised, clear and confident as a speaker, and is already talking about FFA debate and speech competitions, and the leadership conferences she can attend in the next few years.
And I smile.
Because seven year old Hanna was seemingly randomly put in Miss Grippo’s class…because the Caponi’s helped instill in her a love of theater…because she learned so many skills during her years as a Cannoli…because of all of that, and so much more, she has an ability to communicate that isn’t exactly common in high school students.
I continue to be thankful that Hanna was placed in Jennifer’s class eight years ago. I truly believe God was active in that moment, and that He was using that one decision - which class to put a first grader in – to weave something into the tapestry that makes up Hanna in a huge way.
I can’t wait to see what else He does with it.