May 28, 2008

A small request

We were down in Florida over Memorial Day weekend to attend my sister's my pretty pony wedding. The less said, perhaps. . .

Anyway, one night, we were having dinner outside at a barbecue joint called "Slow and Low". Pretty good, actually. Towards the end of the meal, the live music started. It was a singer with an acoustic guitar. He played some James Taylor and then he played some Jimmy Buffet. That prompted the Girl Child to want to ask him to play a song for her. So, she grabbed my hand and pulled me along for moral support. The song he was playing ended and she walked up to the singer:

GC: [Shyly peering up at him from under her too long bangs she quietly asks] Can you please play a song for me?

Singer: [Into the Mic] This little lady has a request! What would you like me to play, miss?

GC: Can you play me a Jimmy Buffet song?

Singer: Sure! What do you want to hear?

GC: Can you play, My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love Jesus?

Singer: Errr, [long pause] I don't know that one. I've heard it but I don't know it. How about I play, Son of a Sailor?

GC: Ok. Sure, if you don't know the other one.

GC: [As we walk back to our seats} Pappa, that really wasn't the song I wanted to hear, you know.

I'm sorry I cannot describe the look on the singer's face when he heard her request. No way he saw that one coming.

No way for him to know that the Girl Child thinks of herself as a Parrot Head. No way at all.

Posted by Random Penseur at 10:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Concert Performance

Last night, we attended a sold out performance at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. It was a grand performance by the Suzuki School of Westport, where the Girl Child (aged 7) studies violin and the Boy Child (aged 5) studies the cello. [The baby (aged 2), by the way, while studying neither, can often be found in his car seat, humming “twinkle” and moving his arm as if he were handling a bow.] There were 160+ students on the stage last night. All of them dressed in white shirts and black pants or skirts.

The program lasted for an hour. We (I was there with my parents) had the worst seats in the house, all the way in the farthest most back row. The music was lovely and the children performed terrifically. The BC was seated on the stage the entire time, in the front row by the left side. The GC came on stage with the other beginning violinists towards the end. I suppose it was easier to make the little violinists walk in with their much smaller instruments than it was to make the cellists come in with their stools and straps and big cellos. The BC behaved impeccably during the concert. He didn’t drop his bow on the stage once, unlike some of the other kids. He was scheduled to play at the last song of the program – some twinkle variations.

The GC was on stage and playing and we were about three songs from the end when the BC did something quite strange. He put his cello down and stood up. He looked around for a moment and then walked over the stairs and descended into the audience where he then began to march up the aisle of the concert hall. He was on the other side of the hall from me. The Viking Bride was a chaperone and was backstage so really didn’t see any of this. I jumped out of my seat, ran around the outside of the hall and met him at the door on his side.

Me: BC! Are you ok? What are you doing?

BC: I have to go to the potty really bad.

Me: BC, we are one song away from your song. You’re going to miss the whole thing if you go to the potty! Can you hold it?

BC: [Bites back a sob] I’ll try.

Me: Good for you! Let’s hurry and get you back!

We walk very quickly halfway down the aisle and I stop to let him continue by himself.

He mounts the stage as the second to last piece is coming to an end.

Avery Fisher Hall erupts in applause as the BC takes the stage and picks his cello back up. Everyone clapped for him.

They launch right in to the last piece and he plays his cello with tremendous gusto. He gets up, bows, and exits.

The GC, by the way, was sick going in and did not want to play. But she got out there and played her best, even though, as she confided in me later on the way home, she was not able to make her violin sing.

And so the concert ends.

I was so proud of them both.

And yes, the BC made it to the potty in time. Or so he said.

While waiting for them to all come out of the stage door on 65th Street, one of the mothers told me

When he got back on the stage, at the end, and everyone applauded: I cried.

I didn’t cry. But I did stand in the middle of the aisle, in the middle of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, bursting with pride and pleasure as I watched as my son mounted the stage to thunderous applause and played his very big heart out.

I wasn’t sure what to expect last night but I certainly didn’t expect that. It was a heck of a show.

Posted by Random Penseur at 10:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

A strange balance

I feel a bit unbalanced today. You may not know this about me, but I am completely ambidextrous. In fact, I normally write with my left hand but play tennis or squash or throw with my right hand.

I play a lot of squash. I probably play a minimum of 4 and sometimes up to 6 times a week. Lately, however, I have begun to experience some pain in my elbow and my shoulder. I decided to take it easy and rest the arm, opting to not play this week. I got talked into giving it a try this morning, though. I easily won my first game and then the shoulder started to ache, kind of sharply. So I did the smart thing and resigned the match. That should have ended it.

Except that my partner suggested that I switch hands and play lefty. I have never tried that before but, sure, why not. We hit some balls so I could get used to it and then we went for it. I lost three games very quickly: 9-0; 9-0; 9-1. So we played three more and I lost all of them, too but by a much better score: 9-5; 9-6; 9-6. Yes, I took respectable losses against an experienced player by using my weak hand for the first time ever.

Cool. I was so pleased when we walked off the court.

But then it got weird. I went to get a cup of coffee to take into the locker room and I ended up using my left hand as my dominant hand. I have continued, off and on, to confuse which hand is dominant. I have felt slightly off balance, too, like I used my body in a familiar task but in an unfamiliar way. All very odd.

I highly recommend this experience, if you think you have the ability to switch it up a little.

Change your perspective. Use your other hand (good luck serving, though).

Posted by Random Penseur at 01:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 06, 2008

Beware of promises you make in jest

The Girl Child spoke early. And often. But above all else, she spoke early. Somewhat like me, my aunt has told me. Anyway, she spoke her first real words at almost exactly six months old. I came in to pick her up from her crib and she looked at me with those huge, astonishingly blue eyes, and said: "Hi, Dada. Dada, hi!"

Boom. I was blown away. I looked at this little creature and said, "My sweet, Pappa is going to buy you a horse!"

Well, I should have been more careful. I have not bought her a horse. No, I have leased her a pony. A lovely little strawberry-roan pony who jumps like a big guy and who eats while we sleep (which is expensive). The Girl Child thought it was a strawberry-ROME, by the way, but I felt I had to correct that cute little misunderstanding.

So, we have acquired a pony. It is, if you were wondering, expensive to lease a good pony for a year. Thousands of dollars expensive. But that's ok, I don't think that she'll miss much by not going to college.

We have also, by the way, acquired a tack box to keep her boots and hat and gloves and chaps and half chaps and crop and grooming stuff and spurs and it keeps on going and going. This box was a gift from her riding instructor who just got a new tack box. She gave her old tack box, a gift to her from her mother when she was young, to the Girl Child. It has, as you might think, huge sentimental value and we are really touched.

So, if you see me at a horse show and I have a sort of pinched expression on my face, that's because I now lease a pony.

I never should have said anything when she was 6 months old. A lesson to you all, I expect.

Posted by Random Penseur at 10:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

Fight your own fights

The Viking Bride, who is now a stay at home mom, emailed me with the following:

I berated the Girl Child (age 7) for some poor behavior this morning, and she stalked off, sulky & sad. She must have confided in / complained to her brother (age 5), because I hear the dulcet tones of his gentle voice wafting over from the sun room

Girl Child, I'm tired of sticking up for you. I'm SICK of yelling at Mamma!


Posted by Random Penseur at 08:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack