Mouths of Babes · Writers Write

Hark the Herald and All That Jazz

IMG_3583It’s holiday concert time. Tuesday morning, Coco sang at Target. That’s her little head in the back row between the plus sized sweaters (that no one buys because yesterday’s high was 81°) and the flannel pajama pants. Kudos to her teacher. The kids sang like angels. What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love and It’s a Small World After All weren’t the tunes I sang, but they met the criteria for a secular holiday .

After Target, Coco ate school lunch and went back to class. At five, she reported to her future middle school for a mass orchestra rendition of another holiday classic, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. She’s an overachiever. She learned Twinkle two years ago. Her classmates, over a hundred of them, started strings in September. Afterward, we fought traffic back to her elementary school’s PTA meeting where she played Twinkle again before repeating the choir set from Target.

By the last venue, the adult audience was restless and rude–cell phones out and openly arguing with spouses and children. The PTA ladies shilled the Holiday Store and guilted those of us reluctant to volunteer. The fundraiser pays for extras like art supplies and sheet music–tangibles that aren’t measured by corporate testing entities.

I was restless too. I unrolled the printed program I’d wadded into a scroll. In fine print the paper read, “This concert meets all national standards for music education.”