leaving room

This is a field trip I am not going to miss. I checked the box and signed my name with a flourish on that pink piece of paper to ensure I would go to the Orpheum to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with my seven year old son Benjamin’s class. We would participate in the magnificence that is Beethoven.

After we settled in our seats and the lights dimmed and the chattering of hundreds of young children quieted, the music began. Violins, oboes, flutes; notes weaving grace. Ben sat in the seat in front of me and after a few minutes of listening he began to squirm, wiggle and sigh. He turned to look at me, pleading with wide eyes. Get me outta here. I leaned over, put my hands on his small shoulders and whispered in his ear, “Ben, you don’t know this yet. But, it is a big deal that you are here in this beautiful theater listening to this beautiful music. Look around you. Take this in. You want to remember this day.” He nodded, one quick bob, and pressed his back against the chair.

At the end of the Symphony’s performance the conductor invited us to sing along. A theater full of children and teachers and parents sang a piece of Ode to Joy. Oh, the sound. The wonder of those small voices. Together.

In the bus on the way home I asked Ben, “So, did you have a good time?”

“Yup!” He bounced, the back of his head crashing into the seat behind him. Over and over again, bounce, crash. He stopped. “I cried a little.”

“You cried?”

“Happy tears. Because of the music.”

My heart swelled, full of joy, full of a little boy who got it.

When so much of life is measured and scored and assessed, this was a sweet, holy moment. A reminder to leave room. For more than tests and grades and math. Jobs and bills and obligations. We are moving, rushing, changing all of the time. And it’s okay…because this is life. Time doesn’t stop. In the heart of busy I want to remember to enjoy, marvel, revel. To listen. I want to be reached when something sacred happens, to have space inside me marked by music and beauty. A place to catch my breath and a place for the breathtaking.

swept up
in this beautiful and poignant post called a Tale of Two Sirens by Julie Gardner. Recently her home was ravaged by fire and she writes about it here with grace.

14 thoughts on “leaving room

  1. julie gardner

    This post gave me chills – even before I got to the part where you mentioned mine.

    Ode to Joy is the most beautiful music; and for your sweet son to be so moved by it speaks volumes about the man he will become. The man he’s already becoming.

    How wonderful to know you are raising your children to feel things deeply, to soak up the loveliness around them. I’m not surprised by this at all because you have such a gift for seeing – really SEEING this world we live in. The richness, the struggle, the pain, the triumph.

    Nicely done, mama.
    And cheers to the lessons learned in school that can’t be measured.

    p.s. Fortunately, much of our home was saved by the quick action of the fire department. And now, three months later, we are finally rebuilding what was destroyed and feeling grateful for our safety and for the AMAZING support we’ve felt. Especially from friends we’ve never met. XO

  2. Kerstin

    Wonderful post, Heidi!
    I don’t want special moments like this one to become something that happens every day – then they would not be special anymore.
    You capture it perfectly and I definitely want to visit the Vancouver Symphony! I bet Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons would just be amazing to hear.

  3. Kate Coveny Hood

    “I want to be reached when something sacred happens, to have space inside me marked by music and beauty.” Life is so rush rush rush and practical – I love the idea of making room for magic. Need to work on that…

  4. Anna Lefler

    What a lovely post. I admire your ability to appreciate the moment while it’s happening – that’s an excellent model for me.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog – I hope all is well with you and your family! Take care…


  5. steph

    What an amazing thing you said to your son when he got antsy. I will remember it when I have my niece. I know a time will come when I’ll think the time is appropriate to tell her that, some adventure we might be on, or listening to a piece of music, as you describe. Very moving post, heidi. I also clicked over to read Julie’s blog. What a great writer she is, and you’re right, she tells that story with grace. Thanks for the introduction.

  6. Pam

    ….magical moments. I applaud you for being there validating that ‘happy tears’ are every bit as important as an A or B….

    1. heidi

      Heather, it is so nice to meet you! I’ve seen your name pop up often. I’m with you – how haven’t we met?? Thank you for your kind words and, again, I’m so happy to meet you.

  7. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me

    I headed over from Ann’s place and have been hopping around your blog reading beautiful words everywhere. I sit at a few orchestra concerts each year as my children are stringers. I always feel like I am the only one moved to tears nearly every time. I so love it that your son got it!!

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