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July 14, 2002 - Sunday
Our walk to another coffee shop this morning was rather less satisfying than yesterday. We took Harry and Jeremy with us this time and Harry, really for the first time since we arrived Thursday, was not in a so-perfect mood. Had the novelty of a new place worn thin? Had the fatigue of three straight days packed with exciting activities overwhelmed him? Was it just that we had cereal for breakfast instead of a more spectacular meal and thus returned to routine? It's hard to know.

Part of the reason for the walk was to pass time before an orchestra concert in a nearby park later in the morning. We'd mentioned it to Harry yesterday and he was eager to go. And, I would have thought that he would have enjoyed it and that the malaise of the morning would be dashed by the new excitement of music and musical instruments. I would have thought that when the orchestra started to play Harry might ask to move closer to see. I would have expected his interest to wane later, but that would be fine. He could run around the park as I once did at outdoor concerts when I was young.

Maybe Harry was still tired. Maybe there were too many unfamiliar people about. But Harry was not interested in the music. At intermission I took him for that run around the grounds, down a hill, and around some tall trees. He ran and laughed, but he didn't hold up as long as I thought he would and it was Harry who wanted to go back to our group on the blanket first. That happened to be about the same time as the second half of the concert was beginning and I asked Harry again if he'd like to see the instruments up close. He said "no."

Then, well into the second half of the concert, after I'd abandoned the possibility that Harry might be interested, Harry asked to go closer. So we did, first stopping at the side of the stage to listen, then walking around the back by the percussion, behind the brass, and around to the basses and cellos. Harry said he wanted to go back to our spot on the side and I thought maybe he'd had enough.

But, Harry listened and after a while asked to go closer again. We made a similar trip behind the stage and talked about the same instruments, but this time we lingered longer at each. Harry listened and asked questions. And I, with renewed interest myself, added comments. When we went back to our spot by the side of the stage, Harry wanted to listen. The orchestra was starting its final set for the morning and it was a grouping of lively John Williams movie scores. Harry watched pensively.

Then, more excitedly, he asked about the instruments by name: "Where are the drums?"
"Right there, Harry," I answered, pointing in front of us to the rear of the stage.
"Where are the trumpets?"
"In the back, past the drums," I answered.
"Where are the cellos?" he said, pronouncing "cellos" with a animated accent on the first syllable.
"Over there on the other side," I said, pointing toward the front of stage.
"What are those?"
"Those are the violins," I reminded him.

A grandmother pushed a stroller up beside Harry with a 16-month-old in the tow and Harry, noticing the new audience of a relative peer, began to name the instruments out loud. "Those are the drums, right there," he said enthusiastically, then, "those are the violins, over there. Those are the cellos."
When he stopped, the grandmother tried to continued what she thought was a conversation. "And how old are you?" she asked Harry.
When he didn't answer I offered "he's two and a half, but I don't think he understands about ages yet." She said nothing in reply, but her quickly changed face told what she was thinking: 2 1/2 and naming the instruments!

I had to turn away for a moment. I was proud and touched. She was right: that's not all that normal for 2 1/2, even if he had just been coached. After my little reverie I asked about her grandson, but the conversation faded. I was again captivated by Harry. His excitement had given way to a placid attentiveness to the music, studying the orchestra, and I imagined that perhaps one day he might play the cello, or something else, and that he would play a beautiful piece and I would be in the audience similarly captivated as he was then. I turned away for another moment.

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