Saturday, March 17, 2012

stage fright


I was nervous for her, I always feel nervous when they step up in front to play a solo.  Kate had her recital last night.  We were talking on the way there.   Kate was unsure of a few formalities (introduction mainly).  I said, "I am sure you wont be first.  You can watch what the other kids are doing and follow their lead.  She relaxed a bit.  We sat close to the front and were handed the program.  First sweet Kate.  Her eyes opened wide.  There would be no one going before her.  I verified what I had suspected...there will be a program...she didn't have to introduce herself or her piece.

As she sat in front of the audience and waited for the accompanist my nervousness faded completely away (she knew her song very well) and hers had just begun.  She started out perfectly and then looking around a bit, lost her place, and then got right back on track.  I was so happy with her effort.  It is scary playing in front of people you don't know...and distracting.  I am grateful my girls have accepted those opportunities, even when they aren't particularly happy about them.

After the recital we went out for frozen custard and took it to Sharon and Jason's (our fellow recital attendees)!  They told us all about their trip to Hawaii...and how they will take care of the girls so Danny and I can go....someday  :)  We tried to talk Kate into letting Sharon pull out her front is nearly sideways!

When I tucked Kate into bed last night we were talking about her recital.  She was glad she played "but my hands were shaking!"  It is funny that Ellie's nervousness for performing hit this exact age too.   The advice we offered Kate--  take a deep breath (me) and look over everybody's head (Ellie).  Federation is next week...and just for back up, in case our advice doesn't cut it...Kate has decided to play her songs over and over a couple times a day-on top of her normal practice.  No matter what happens, she will be just fine.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

enlarge her world

Sophie and I were both suffering from a bit of chill in the early afternoon.  I was craving a day at the beach-  sitting on warm sand listening to the ocean.  We decided to find the sunniest window in the house.  We grabbed her reading workbook and began.  It had been a week since we had picked this one up.  She was a bit rusty.   She was cold so she climbed on my lap and we made sure that we were in the most optimal spot for sun.  As she worked and read I saw a woman pass by outside our window on a walk.  She looked to be in her later 60s.  She had a big smile on her face as she advanced passed our house.  Initially I was a bit envious.  A brisk quiet walk on a sunny afternoon sounds like a treat to me.  Then as I listened to my little girl working...P A R K, D E E R, H U N T I N G, G I R L...I realized I was enjoying the highlight of my day at that very moment.  I also understood immediately that this time goes sooooooo fast and teaching my little girl how to read is really the biggest treat of all.

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world.  Love of books is the best of all."
Jacqueline Kennedy

Sophie is the biggest book lover in our house.  Every night, after she is tucked snugly in her bed, she climbs out and gathers piles and piles of books.  She turns on a little side light and quietly browses every page.  She sometimes reads them to the dolls or stuffed animals that have joined her on her bed.  It brings her so much joy.  I hope she holds a love of reading and books forever.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ten years old

The highlight of Ellie's birthday (for me) was our shopping excursion.  I told the girls I would take them "bookstore" shopping for their birthdays this year.  Ellie and I went out Saturday.  It was so fun hanging out and shopping together.  Now that she is ten our time together has transitioned from me worrying about the little details of her well being (like what is necessary for younger children) to being supportive, listening, counsel giving friend.  I really enjoy just being together...especially in a bookstore.

I surprised Ellie by calling her friend that she has known the very longest- Grace.  They have been playmates since Ellie was six months old.  She and her mom were excited to meet us.  As we walked into the bookstore---there they were...SURPRISE!  We all browsed and visited and browsed.  The girls picked out a bookThe Giver, for both of them--- and a stuffed animal (a reminder that for as grown up as they sometimes act---they are still little girls---which makes me happy).  Ellie also picked out a new doodle book---they LOVE those books!  We had cupcakes there and then the girls wanted to go to lunch at Spaghetti Factory.   It was one of my very favorite afternoons.  I think it was for Ellie too!

Happy birthday Ellie!
Love you xoxo