This weekend we interrupted our baseball life for some music.
My oldest son, Kory and I went to a community band concert. We didn’t randomly pick it. Kory’s former piano teacher plays in the horn section and had a featured piano solo. Since we hadn’t seen her for a few months and she was hoping for some familiar faces in the crowd, Kory and I decided to drive the hour or so to see her concert.
It was amazing. As I sat there with my son listening to the various parts, I had so many things rush through my head. All the piano practicing I did through 10 plus years of lessons. Accompanying school choirs and ensembles. Playing the clarinet and oboe. The music appreciation classes focusing on concert etiquette. The concerts my parents and grandparents attended to listen to me play. The early morning band class at college that I only did for one semester. That first college concert when I looked out into the crowd and realized my parents, siblings and grandparents weren’t there anymore to watch me because I was 12 hours from home. It just wasn’t worth it when it had nothing to do with my major. I stopped playing clarinet. I stopped playing oboe. I only tinkered on the piano.
As I sat in the middle school auditorium turned concert hall, I felt my eyes tear up at the beauty of the notes and rhythms. The beauty that someone created this music from nothing. I thought of my grandfather’s explanation of tears as a little boy when he heard the music in church, “sometimes the music just touches me.” It was touching me.
The concert was a perfect time to snuggle with my son who had kicked off his flip flops and curled up in his chair. We listened to the music together. We tapped out the beats and rhythms. We softly whispered how pieces sounded like they belonged on an episode of Tom and Jerry cartoons or featured in a video game. I whispered explanations on why the lady with the black straight horn came out to tune everyone up before the concert started. I whispered how to tell when the conductor was done and we could clap. This is one of the reasons I love to homeschool. He wasn’t learning about music in a classroom with a textbook. He was learning it in real life.
I watched the lady next to me close her eyes and sway to the music. I watched the boy in front of my gently play with his mother’s hair. I saw the lady in the row in front of me win a cash prize in the concert’s raffle. I saw her generously and discreetly decline the winnings and instead hand them over to the featured music organization raising funds that night. I saw the organization’s spokes lady gush with “thank you. thank you. thank you.”
I saw my son close his eyes and absorb the music through the night. “It is okay if you feel sleepy. The music is relaxing, isn’t it,” I told him. I felt him snuggled up next to me and tap out the beat. I watched him clap at the right times. I watched him pretend he was playing the horn.
“Mommy, I really liked that,” I heard him say at the end.
“Me too, Kory. Me too,” I responded back.
That night he didn’t beg for more snuggles at bedtime. He didn’t tell me his snuggle-meter was only registering to his ankles.
We got our snuggles in earlier as we both further developed our love of music.
I’m posting every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.