Timing is a funny thing. Today, I feel compelled to eat my words. Well, not all my words-- just a few parts of yesterday's post where I described feeling disappointed that my children and I were not truly a part of my husband's school community. Last night turned the tide on that feeling. We had a magical time at the Easter celebration and I am so glad that we didn't allow ourselves to be intimidated by the late hour of the service.
When C and S got home from school yesterday afternoon, we talked with them about the celebration and they immediately got excited-- a good sign. We managed to eat dinner and get out of the house on time with good cheer, no snapping or meltdowns, itself some sort of Easter miracle. As we walked up to the gathering place on the second floor of the school, we began to hear the beating of the African drums. As soon as we entered the room, the boys were transfixed. The rhythms from the drums immediately took over and in a wonderfully natural and primal way, they began to bob, then jump to the rhythms. The gathered students clapped, smiled and then laughed, watching F, S, and C unselfconsciously move and march and shake. The leader of the drumming group strode over to them, beating a complex rhythm as he handed each of them a shaker of some sort so they could fully be involved. S hoisted the large gourd over his shoulder, passing his hands over the attached beads. C shook his tambourine as he took large steps, lifting his legs and feet in his own version of an African dance. F bobbed up and down as his red double maracas danced in his pudgy hands.
After a long jam session, all the children gathered for instruction about their parts in the celebration. Throughout the service, they got to lead the community through the rooms and halls and finally into the chapel as they shook their shakers and called out a refrain that the rest of the service goers repeated. We sang and listened to a variety of different music and laughed with the others there. In the end, the kids got to climb to the balcony, overlooking the chapel floor, crouch on either side of the large pipe organ, and proclaim, "Go in peace!" as they threw rose petals through the slots of the railing. A fun time was had by all.
Climbing into bed last night, S proclaimed that it was a great celebration and shared his favorite part of the night: "When the drummers were drumming and we all said, 'heart beat, heart beat, heart beat' over and over, you know I could feel it in my heart. The vibration ran up my arm, right into my heart and I could feel the drumming right in my heart."
And I can feel the rhythm of my boys right in my heart.