Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Piano Recital and Other Stuff

Watching people make music has always amazed me.  Seeing them soak up the images of patterns of dots on lines in through the their eyes, filtering those images through the brain and transferring them out through fingers on  a keyboard seems like a small miracle to me.  And bonus marks if it is actually pleasant to listen to!  I've always wanted to be able to play the piano but always wanting to and actually doing are two very different ideas.  Enter the Music For Young Children program.  These are parented music classes where the child is taught to read and play music and the parent learns by default. So a year ago I signed Callie and I up for Tuesday lessons and this past weekend was the debut performance for the Level 1 Sunbeams.  The Sunbeams are the rookies in the piano recital.  They look up to the Level 2 Sunbeams and the ever so talented Moonbeams groups.

About an hour before it was time to go to the recital, my little pianist's anxieties were starting to surface.  She didn't want to go.  She wasn't feeling good.  She wasn't wearing a dress. She doesn't like piano.  She was tired. She wanted to stay home.  She was curled up under a blanket on the couch almost as if she was hoping that if she curled up small enough and hid well enough she would disappear or at best, I wouldn't see her.  

I was anticipating this reaction.  We've been here before. A new situation combined with not  knowing what to expect is a recipe for stress for my girl. But just because I've seen this before doesn't mean I really know what to do to help her.  I'm constantly debating in my mind what I should do, what I should say, how I can help her, what is going to get us out the door on time. All the time questioning whether I'm doing the right thing.  Second guessing myself.  But also knowing from experience that it will all be okay once we get there. Because showing up is the hardest part in life...no matter how old you are.

So my strategy this time was to let Callie make as many choices as possible to bring her comfort when she's feeling so vulnerable.  I told her she could pick out what she wanted to wear. Whatever she wanted as long as it was clean.  She didn't have to wear fancy shoes.  I suggested she bring her McKenna doll or her blanket to help her feel better but she refused. Did she want to bring a snack? No.  How about a stuffie? No.  No.  No.

Eventually we made it to the church where the recital was being held.  Sister was still grumbly as we entered the building and found a seat in one of the pews near the front.  The light poured in through the meticulous stained glass windows as Callie sat nervously waiting for her turn to play the piece she chose for this night. She found some comfort in the familiar faces of the kids she knew from music lessons and from school.  She watched and listened intently to the pianists that played before her in the program.  And when it was her turn to play...

Sister NAILED IT!  She played Me and My Little Dog in front of the crowd and her Mama was busy waving her I'm so proud of you freak flag, taking videos and pictures of my brave, brave girl!  I could hardly believe that my girl was soaking up those patterns of dots on lines, filtering them images through her brain and transferring them out through her fingers on the piano!  Its amazing because I sat through those Tuesday lessons for a year and I've practiced alongside her and guess what... it's not easy!  She surpassed my abilities early on.  I'm still counting my fingers and looking for middle C!

I will even dare to say that by the time Callie finished her piano solo, sang the Friendly Sharp song, and played some bells that she was maybe even enjoying herself a little when it was time to sing the Dinosaur Teeth song in the finale.  Needless to say I smothered her with "I love yous, I'm so proud of yous, You can do hard things, Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hugs"  when we got home.

Besides piano recitals, here's some other stuff that's been happening around here...

1.  Forest Fire.  Way to close to home for comfort.  Luckily this one had a happy ending.  We sat outside watching the planes fly overhead bravely telling the girls that it will be okay.  Meanwhile my brain was thinking about what I would pack if we had to move quickly.

2.  Cancelled Soccer Practice.  Callie declared, "this was the best soccer practice ever!"  Since we were already at the soccer field we decided to take a little walk down the road to the beach.  Once a jewel of a beach back in its day, now it's overgrown and the abandoned playground has an eerie feeling.

3. Great Grandma's Birthday.  She had her birthday crown on when we got there.  She is one beautiful princess.

4.  The Park.  It's what they like to do.  Especially if there's a slurpee store nearby.

5. Time to Plant.  I'm waiting until after the full moon in June like the oldtimers say before putting any plants in the ground.  Glad I did as the temperatures dropped and the snow fell on Friday.  Yes you read that right.  It snowed on June 6th.  Yuck!

6.  Another Loose Tooth.  Tooth number three is being wiggled constantly by her tongue or her fingers.  It's kinda just hanging there all twisty looking.  

7.  Pirate Ship.  Cool "new" used toy that I got from a friend who has 3 boys who were done with it.  I wonder how her boys would feel about all the princesses that are now swabbing the deck.

8.  Camping.  We got just a tiny taste of things to come on the weekend.  Campfire, fresh fish, s'mores, and a really cool mushroom cap.  Yes, we are counting the days until summer vaycay!  18 more to be exact!

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