Well, we are back in music class after the summer recess. And Cora is back to running circles around the group as most of the other kids sing and dance with their parents and our teacher Leigh. As long-time readers already know, and you can too if you read this post from last year, I think the world of Leigh and have learned so much from being a student in, and of, her work in with young children. You’ll also know that Leigh has encouraged me to embrace Cora’s ways of working through the music, even when those contrast with what the rest of the class is doing. And, as I’ve written before, that isn’t always easy for me to do.
Today I reached the end of my rope. Cora was joyfully running around, between, and through the group as we sang and danced. I was singing and following Leigh’s direction, trying not to let Cora’s behavior stop me from participating, but simultaneously feeling like she was disrupting others and that we were in no way making music together. What was the point. For the first time since our first class a year ago, I actively tried to control her body by reaching my arms out to draw her in as she zoomed past me and begging her to sing with me.
Then, this afternoon while we were on the swings, something amazing happened, as it seems to do just when I need it to. I started singing a song Cora likes from the new collection, “There’s a Little Wheel Turning in my Heart” (here’s another version) and Cora asked me to stop singing that song and asked me to sing something else. As I started the new song, she sang about the little wheel. She was not distracted by the words or melody I was signing. I went through three very different songs, but the she just kept turning that little wheel…
I’m not exactly sure what that demonstrates. Maybe Leigh can help me figure that out. But I do know we’ll be back in class next week. And I’ll try to remember that even when it seems otherwise, my child is learning. Often much more than I can imagine.