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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today's Tears...

Today started out with black clouds, bolts of lightning, claps of thunder, torrential rain and Claire's fourth grade recorder concert. 120 fourth graders learned, practiced and prepared for today's big event led by our very talented Mrs. Adelstein ~ who is tops in my books as one of the world's best music teachers. Under her tutelage my musically challenged kiddos have learned to appreciate the joy music brings to our lives. The nasty weather outside did nothing to dispel the cheery atmosphere as the fourth graders prepared to perform for their attentive audience filled with parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. The recorder concert began as rain drummed on the roof above.

Now, to be honest, the recorder is not one of my favorite instruments and listening to hours of tedious practicing can try my patience on a good day...on a bad day it's probably best to leave the recorder in its case. Somehow, though, Mrs. Adelstein manages to get the entire fourth grade (save a few of the most challenging kids) to master the recorder and not only have the kids perform but have them perform with enthusiasm. The kids have fun up there, on the stage, hamming it up for all of us. School concerts are riotously fun when when the performers are engaged and engaging. Mrs. Adelstein makes the kids want to perform, ensuring the parents enjoy themselves at the recorder concert.

After the kids were finished wowing us with their renditions of songs on the recorder, they finished out the concert with a few songs they learned in fourth grade chorus. The songs were charming and delightfully sung. As we neared the end of the concert the kids treated us to the song "We are the Children." The first strains of the song began and my throat constricted ~ tears stung my eyes. I sat listening to the words of the song and the lump in my throat got bigger and bigger as I thought of time flying by. The children's melodious voices carried the message of the song with ease. I could hear the strains of wanting to grow up mixed with the childlike voices singing these words...

We are the Children the future’s in our hands
We have the right to all our dreams and plans
Living in the present
Learning from the past
Headed for the future
Hoping it will last

Will I ever be
All I want to be
We shall see

We are the Children the future’s in our hands
We have the right to all our dreams and plans
Living in the present
Learning from the past
Headed for the future
Hoping it will last

I watch the trees grow tall
Their leaves die and they fall
So must we all

We are the Children the future’s in our hands
We have the right to all our dreams and plans
Living in the present
Learning from the past
Headed for the future
Hoping it will last
The blue sky and the sea
I wonder if they’ll be
There for me

(We Are The Children
©Bob Reid 1993)

It seems like just yesterday I was watching Claire as a kindergartener, standing on the same stage, with the same teacher leading the kids in song. My heart ached for how quickly time is passing and for the realization this is my last child performing in the recorder concert. There may have been tears today as I realize all the yesterdays are past but I will focus on the gift of today ~ that is why they call it the present...

Oh, for the love of my children...

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