This was the right concert at the right time for the tight reasons today. I booked this last week and its the first assembly since the CT horror. It was appropriate in many ways. It was in my neighborhood, a block away from home, and it was for kids (and teachers) I know and have played for since my PASELA days 7 years ago. It was an opportunity for the kids to sing Christmas songs and some of my favorites (and the Cat Came Back, Baby Shark, Tutti Tah, and others) in a safe and caring environment. The new principal had a chance to chat before hand, and I told him of my history with the school, my reaction to the family night last week, etc. And he stepped up during the show, getting up with the kids and playing along.
I told them that this was my Christmas present to myself, feeling a little beat up in this Christmas season, still depressed with the personal turns of the last few years, and the added onus of the CT tragedy. Towards the end, I started playing Silent Night. We sang the first two verses with great reverence, as would be expected. I then asked the kids to sing the first verse again, by themselves…. and they did. I noticed several teachers tearing up, and felt myself getting emotional as well.
A wonderful and cherished moment. And, as I think back, a defining moment. As a friend on FB noted, “there is no more important thing for me to be doing.” I have to keep that in mind.
Tomorrow, crack o’ dawn with RockRoots in Wall, NJ at 8:15 and 9:10 am. This one is a reschedule from Hurricane Sandy. Again, some extra karma on this gig.