Updated: Jan 23
I rocked up at Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday morning for the B'Opera sessions to be told "The Hippodrome will be observing a two minute silence at 11 o'clock."
My mind: "I'm sorry, what? Silence, you say? In a baby and toddler session?" My mouth: "Great, let's do it."
So just before 11, we explained that we would take two minutes to say thank you to people who had done something kind for us, a bit like our grown-ups do kind things for us. There was two minutes of bubbles and no music, and the 50+ people in the room were astonishingly quiet. As each bubble popped I thought about lives given up so that we can come to these beautifully diverse sessions with so many backgrounds and nationalities represented at each one.
And the hope is that in remembering, we don't make the same mistakes again. And again.
We can get lost down rabbit holes of difference - different backgrounds, languages, foods, religions, traditions... it's never-ending and you'll always find more once you go looking.
Or we can remember our common humanity.
That's one of the very many beautiful things about these Hippodrome sessions - the little ones don't care about difference. They bring us all together with a common goal of surviving the day, and, if we're lucky, sharing some truly beautiful moments together.
Keep remembering. And keep singing.