Like many people, I have a few dreams in life I have yet to fulfill, such as learning to speak French, playing violin, visiting the Fiji Islands and weighing 110 pounds. Someday, I might get around to them (although the weighing 110 pounds one isn't gonna happen unless carbs and cheese go out of business). These days, I'm living vicariously through Sabrina's violin playing.
She started a few months ago and with each screech-screech-screech she makes during practice, my heart soars. She has played violin for every person who stops by our house, except for the mailman. "Listen, Mommy!" she'll say, and she'll eek out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The only hazard so far has been that she practices rhythm by repeatedly chanting "El-e-va-tor op-e-ra-tor" and those words run through my mind at random times, like work meetings or as I'm trying to fall asleep.
Overall, her playing has brought me much bliss. It's made me realize the different kinds of joys you can get out of your children; this is the first time one of the kids is doing something I've wanted to do. [El-e-va-tor op-e-ra-tor] Sabrina's learning by the Suzuki method, which in the early years emphasizes learning music by ear over reading notes. That's how I learned to play piano as a kid, and the CD she listens to at night has many of the same pieces that were on the first Suzuki 33 album I ever played.
Today was her first violin recital. Max had been invited to go pumpkin picking on a farm, and Dave and I decided he would have a better time doing that then hanging at the recital. Dave went with Max, I hung with Sabrina. I was bummed that Dave wasn't there to enjoy this, so I took eleventy thousand pictures for him. I just got an Olympus Pen E-PM1, part of the Pen Ready project, and I've been having a blast with it. [El-e-va-tor op-e-ra-tor]
Sabrina seemed maybe a little nervous. She dragged me out into the hallway during intermission for an impromptu practice, and she did a nice job.
She waxed her bow like a pro.
Watch out, Yo-Yo Ma! [El-e-va-tor op-e-ra-tor]
I had, truth, wondered whether Sabrina would get up there and not do anything, which is what happened with her ballet recital at age 3. She stood onstage as all the other girls danced around her, stared serenely into the crowd and did not move a muscle except to blink (other than when she took a bow). "How come you didn't move?" I asked her afterward. "Because I didn't dance," she said, wisely.
But when her teacher, Miss Chelsea, called her name, Sabrina bounded up on stage...and somehow coaxed Miss Chelsea into coming along with her. [El-e-va-tor op-e-ra-tor] And then she did a great job, serene and self possessed.
I am not a stage mom; if Sabrina ends up quitting, so be it. Meanwhile, I am loving it and living violin through her. I take pride in—and get joy from—Max in other ways, everything from his hard-won victories to his surplus of charm. His giggles are so enchanting they could be the solution to world peace.
Really, though, there's no comparing. I have two children who both have special gifts—and who both bring me special joys.