From an opulent Symphony hall to a Civil War Battle site to a raucous hockey arena, my weekend in Nashville was about as varied as you could get. My son, who lives in Nashville, orchestrated the visit. It was my Christmas present and it could not have been a better gift.
When you have a child, you can’t be sure how they will turn out. It is fun to imagine what kind of person your toddler will become. You can sense their likes and dislikes, their tendencies but you don’t know for sure.
As parents, I think it is safe to say we hope we will raise children who will be kind, hard-working, full of integrity and a positive contribution to society. As a Christian parent, a child who grows up to love the Lord is at the top of the prayer list.
My son is nearing thirty, and I can say I am pleased with the man he is becoming. It was fun spending the weekend with him. We have much in common.
This past Christmas, he asked if I would like to come up to hear his favorite piano Concerto — Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 in C minor. We dressed up, dined at one of the many delightful restaurants in Nashville (which is now my new favorite) and went to hear the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn. I wish I had taken a picture, we looked so nice.
The Symphony was superb. Both of us are former band members so the instrumentalists, especially pianist, astounded us with their virtuosity. This boy of mine has always loved music, even when he was a little guy. We even had the same assessment of the ultra-modern piece that started the performance; kind of like the opinion we share of modern art. To each his own.
The following day, we did something we have talked about doing for five and a half years; the length of time my son has lived in Nashville. You know — those places about which you say “one day we should go there”. We visited the historic sites associated with the Battle of Franklin. We both expected to see a battlefield so I was surprised with what we learned. The Battle of Franklin occurred in the backyard of the Carter home and the surrounding area.
It was evidently quite a brutal fight, one of the worst in the Civil War. Family members, mostly women and children, hid in basement the five hours the battle took place. The home and outbuildings were dotted with bullet holes. One of the most poignant images I have ever witnessed was the interior of the farm office.
We toured two more homes in Franklin that ended up being field hospitals after the battle. Docents at both properties pointed out the stains in the wood flooring — blood from the injured and dying soldiers. Sobering.
Saturday night, we went to the Nashville Predators hockey game. It was completely opposite of our activities the night before. The audience at the Symphony was sophisticated and attentive; there were times it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Not so at the hockey game. From the moment we arrived in the arena until we were in the car driving home, it was loud. Buzzers buzzing, music blaring, fans cheering — it was a cacophony of sound. It was a completely different experience but just as enjoyable.
The final event of the weekend was worshipping together at church. We sang hymns of praise and broke the bread of communion side by side. It was a fitting way to end my visit.
My son has always been well-rounded and this weekend reminded me of that. He is just as comfortable attending the Symphony in a suit as he is a hockey game in a jersey. He shares my love of history so indulges me in visits to historic sites. And, best of all, we can worship God together. We may be separated by several state lines, but, at least he lives in a place that is fun to visit and welcomes his mom (and dad) often. Y’all he even held the door open for me.