Skip to main content

This is What I Want to Show Her

At Christmas, I was talking with my mom and with a long-time family friend about the difficulties of juggling work and the baby, and she commented that they had been so lucky in their day to have husbands who could support them staying home with their little babies. And I think I was lucky to have my mom at home with me, yes, but that's not a way that will work for us.

We took Zoe to a young artist competition a little while back. Steve was running the competition and I was one of the judges. We heard some talented young people, and Zoe cruised around with Steve moving candidates from room to room, then played with me on our lunch break and crawled around on the floor showing off her skills, and then slept in Steve's arms throughout the final round. Everyone commented on what a good baby she was, and what a trouper, and while I know that she is unusually sweet-natured and cheerful, I also know that with our current lifestyles any baby would need to be this easy. Neither of us is willing to give up our music careers, and in 2010 that includes showing up for a high school competition to judge and hopefully also to educate the new generation of classical musicians.

She's been backstage with us at numerous concerts and rehearsals over the past 7 months, and in the audience with us as well. She's met an awful lot of musicians, and students, and listeners and board members and conductors, and enchanted them all. I know parents who keep their babies home all the time, whether out of fear of germs or from simple expedience, and I must say it would have been a lot easier that morning to leave her home with a sitter instead of schlepping her with a car seat and diaper bag and the clothes I'd jammed her into on the way out the door after waking her from a sound sleep. It would have been easier to not have to feed a baby as well as myself at lunch time, and would have been easier to have the kind of job in which I didn't feel obligated to get another hour or two of practicing in after coming home from the long day out. But it's such a delight to have her with me!

And I want her to see that her daddy and I are doing what we love to do. That music is a hard job, and one which requires daily discipline and long days of driving and teaching and listening and coaching, but also brings joy to us and to others. That our lives are full and happy, and that the happiness she brings to us is an addition to the joy we already had had in our everyday tasks. It is hard to make a living as a musician - I don't necessarily want that life for her, but I do want her to see that she can make choices based on what she wants, and can make a living at it. It's possible, and worthwhile. And I am proud of what we are doing and what she is seeing.

Comments

  1. Stumbled upon your blog... and wish you all the best in finding your own way. Congratulations on being brave to follow your own road and understanding that you are your daughter's role model, you are her hero.
    I stopped at "being lucky to stay at home" - and thought about it for a while, I am not made for that little world of stay at home moms and dads who come and have dinner at 6 pm. UGH. Ugh^2.
    I guess I was lucky NOT to have stayed at home, but rather I still juggle the kids, my job, graduate studies, my passions... and it all turned out good. Recently heard " you do things out of love or out of fear". well I am on the fearless side, and it feels good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for commenting, and for your support - what a great quote!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Discouraging Words

I can remember at least two old cranky violinists coming to talk to young me about NOT going into music.  There was a session, for example, during a Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra retreat in which a real RPO professional (who was probably 47 but whom I remember as ancient) told us that, statistically, no one who graduates from music school wins auditions for jobs because there are only like 4 jobs out there in the world and 7000 hotshots coming into the job market every week. 

Quit NOW. 

I may have misremembered the details of this speech, but I remember the emotional jolt.  It was designed to discourage.

Last weekend I was presenting at a Double Reed Festival, and heard some oboists grumbling about another presenter who had evidently given something of the same talk to a roomful of masterclass attendees and participants.  High school students and cheerful adult amateurs.

And look, there's an element of truth to this.  Classical music is not a growing field, and it is leg…

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

We took a vacation this summer.This is not news to anyone in my life - anyone who knows me or especially Steve on Facebook followed along with all of our pictures.We took our travel trailer out to Arizona - via St Louis, Tulsa, Amarillo, Roswell, Santa Fe - and then stayed a week in Clarksdale and Flagstaff and visited some ancient pueblo ruins, Sedona, Jerome, the Lowell Observatory, the Grand Canyon.We swam in swimming pools, lakes, and icy mountain streams.We hiked.Eventually we came home again, via Albuquerque, Amarillo, Tulsa, and St Louis. (our inventiveness had somewhat worn out).After a week at home we took another trip, and drove to Vermont via western NY and the Adirondack Park (stayed an extra day to hike a mountain), lived four days in East Franklin VT, and came home via Catskill and eastern Ohio.
This vacation felt different from all of our previous ones.In the 21 years we’ve been married, I can name only one - maybe two trips we ever took that were not For Work or For …

Shaq and the Oboe

Here’s my FAVORITE thing about that Shaquille O'Neal video everyone's sharing this week - it’s how HAPPY he is playing this silly game and how little he CARES what the oboe actually SOUNDS LIKE or how to play it. 
Almost as if the oboe is not a giant obstacle to overcome.

Instead of focusing on the CRAFT of the instrument, the precise fingerings, the quality of the sound, the finesse of the vibrato - his focus is on DELIVERING the SONG.   It’s on COMMUNICATION, not perfection.


What a LIBERATING concept!


When I am playing my best, I find that I can surpass the STRUGGLE and come to a place where my focus is on communication.   I can sing through the instrument, and I can use that voice to reach out and find someone else.  This is really what being In the Zone means for me - it's when I don’t have to engage with the OBOE and instead can be generous with my VOICE for the audience.


I seek and strive for this Zone all the time - it’s the whole point of practicing! I practice long…