The Munchkins have been diligently practicing beginner violin for a few months now.
and we've progressed from the squeaks and squeals of those early days to some confident bow work. We're not Vivavldi by any means at la casa, but all three Munchkins can play a tune or two error-free. They can tighten and rosen their own bows, they can properly hold, carry, walk with, store and extract their own instruments. And, knock on wood, I have yet to bribe anyone into practicing on a semi-daily basis. Usually just a gentle reminder that it's time to practice is all it takes to have them sprinting for their violins.
That being said, when you dress them in the traditional black and white concert get up, and then hand them off to a bevy of instructors while you go battle it out for decent seats at their first real concert? Your stomach will be doing somersaults. Guaranteed.
It's such a difficult thing, to let your kids stand up in front of others, the possibility of failure hovering just at the fringes of your consciousness. It's hard to let go. To trust that all those hours of practicing has paid off; that they won't stumble on the way to the stage, forget their music, or suffer a massive bout of stage fright at the last minute.
I wonder, at times, if I'm the only parent that suffers these worst-case-scenario nightmares on a daily basis?
How do you know they're ready?
I think that's the question I wrestle with so often these days.
There are times when I forget that The Munchkins are so relatively young. At eight, seven and five they seem so mature when they're not picking their nose or making poop jokes. I heap responsibilities on them that I'm not sure I had at their age because our small, four-person household would not function without them pitching in as equal parts instead of as just dependents. They are as equally responsible for cleaning and dusting and laundry folding and dish cleanup as I am on a weekly basis. And I ask it of them time and time again because it is necessary, hoping each week that it is not going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, almost fearing each time that I'm dooming them to failure by expecting too much of them...
But on Sunday, The Munchkins, solid and steady as ever, pulled off a flawless performance for hundreds of parents, families, friends, and guests.
I am raising virtuosos...
One terrifying moment at a time.