On Sunday Ben had his last piano recital of the year. His teacher reserved a beautiful room at Emory's Carlos Museum for the recital.
The piano was an old Steinway and it was incredible to play. It felt almost magical to play such a lovely instrument that responded to the slightest change in pressure. The sound it produced was rich and wonderful...
After making a mistake at the last recital, Ben did not want to play at this one. I didn't want to force him... but I cajoled until he came up with a solution -- he would only play at the recital if I would play. Yiykes. I don't get nervous on stage, I don't get nervous speaking in front of people, but I was terribly nervous preparing for this recital. To help calm our nerves, Ian and Gamma bought us some balloons.
I have grown up believing I have no musical talent whatsoever... not just no talent but no ability as well. As a child I tried and failed at several instruments... imagine my surprise when I have actually been doing pretty well at learning the piano. My teacher complemented my phrasing a couple of times but I thought he was just being nice. I was shocked when several of the adults came up to me afterwards and told me how beautifully I played! The best praise of all, though, was Nik. As soon as I finished playing he piped up and said, "That was my mommy!"
Ben has gotten over his fear of recitals after this one. He made a couple of small mistakes but he didn't hesitate and he didn't get flustered -- he played right through them. He also wasn't too upset about the mistakes afterwards. We had a wonderful celebratory dinner that night of pasta with chicken and spinach and strawberry and yoghurt verrines.