This afternoon, we hit another concert as part of New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Immediately it was clear that the Cool Cats jazz group had played for kids before. The five members were all excellent musicians, and of equal importance, the group's leader knew how to talk to an audience full of under 12-year-olds. They played some traditional jazz, but then gave a quick, comprehensive tour of American music. The boys were totally attentive, shouting out answers to questions asked, clapping in time, and applauding enthusiastically after each piece.
When the leader introduced Spirituals, he talked a bit about slavery and the tradition of singing and playing one's blues. The group began Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen and the leader sang out, then invited the kids to sing along. Soon C turned to us, genuine tears in his eyes. "That song just makes me so sad," he explained as he cuddled up next to my side. P and I exchanged a glance, and he reached out to rub C's back. "Now that's the power of music," P softly decreed.
Later, while the three boys ran on the green, P said to me, "You know, there is a lot of talk about C being sensitive, and all of that is true. However, his sensitivity is not a bad thing. Look what a beautiful soul he has. He is lucky to feel like that."
And so, while I worry about my guy C going off to school and getting his feelings crushed by others who don't quite get him, I need to stop. And breathe. And thank my lucky stars (and his) that he has a daddy like that.