History compacted into one meaning moment

Today I went to a musical event for children and their parents in a summer camp. No, I wasn’t there in the capacity of a parent or a counselor. I was the mother of one of the musicians. It wasn’t so much of a concert as a drum circle. There were jembes and darbukas all around the room for parents and children to pick up and play on.

The leader started a beat while the parents and children repeated the rhythm after him. Sometimes he started them on a rhythm while he played something else. He showed off a few exotic instruments too, like a pantam which you can see played here and a vibraphone (that my son played). My son is not the one playing in the video but you can see what a vibraphone looks and sounds like. Among the instruments was also a drum. Here’s a clip of Meir playing drums He’s the one in the black shirt.

The reason I’m telling you about this is because aside from the nachas (parental pleasure) it gives me, there’s something very meaningful in it for me. I can’t help think about how much went into this behind the scenes that no one knows anything about. It’s history compacted into the meaning of one moment.

He started on drums going into eighth grade. It seemed like a good direction for him and it was. But then going into ninth he went to a dorm school, and he couldn’t keep the drum set there. I drove him home and back again, a twenty minute ride each way, sometimes late at night and exhausted, so he could practice every day.

Fortunately that school fell apart and the next year we sent him to the religious Yeshiva music high school, Kinor David. He spent hours practicing every day. He really blossomed there. Today, he’s teaching there (as you can see in the drum video above).

And then there’s the story about the marimba, how my father, alav hashalom (may he rest in peace) researched it and packed it up and sent it here. All that went into this one concert with parents and children having a really fun time together.

And now, since Meir doesn’t have a car I sometimes drive it around for him. I do hope he’ll learn how to drive and get a car one day, but until them I’m so proud of him that really makes the effort worthwhile.

Batya Yaniger

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