I had the great idea to bring some music and cultural education in to Aliza and Josiah's life by taking them to hear the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
The musicians were absolutely phenomenal. There was a flutist that I could have listened to all night. They sang in English, Russian and Ukraine. During the concert a slideshow was looping of pictures of the outreach work the group does and different scenes from Ukraine. Have you forgotten, like me, that Ukraine is fighting a war? That Russia is still invading Ukraine? It was rather sobering to see the men and women dressed in lovely black dresses and suits and being told that some of them lived in war zones and others have been separated from the families because of the war.
Fifteen minutes into the concert, Aliza has tears streaming down her face and wanted to go home. The combination of the pictures and the emotion filled music was too much for her to process. She buried her head in my shoulder and continued to cry for the next 45 minutes until intermission.
At about 40 minutes into the concert Josiah starts crying. He just wanted to go home!
Needless to say, we left at intermission. It was all we could handle! Aliza was pretty surprised when I told her that I had no regrets about her seeing those pictures because not every one in the world lives like we do. We kept talking about her feelings in the car and we got to the point where she could say she felt sad for the people and we talked about compassion, caring and empathy.
I had another Mom lesson: Intense emotions are labeled "terrifying" when a growing up girl doesn't know how to describe what she is feeling or how to process what she is feeling.
In the kids defense we had already had a big day before the concert started!