Skip to main content

Zoe is TWO

Zoe turned two on Monday. She's been "two" for months, really, in that she's been pushing her limits (and our buttons) as hard as she can, and has proven herself more than willing to throw fits if she does not get her way. But this week makes it official.

Recently she's started spontaneously saying Please, Thank You, and Sorry at the appropriate times. I'm so startled I frequently forget my line (You're welcome, Zoe, for example). She is interested in letters and words, and whenever she notices some will launch into the alphabet song without warning. She gets a little muddled in the middle, but always ends triumphantly: "Now I know my ABCDEFGH - Nex time Sing Ah Me!"

The Ah construction is an invention of Zoe's own. Instead of differentiating all of those complex prepositions and their idiomatic English uses, she says Ah. (Sit nex Ah Mommy! Give phone Ah Daddy! Mommy walk Ah Zoe!) It's passed effortlessly into common usage in our home. (Steve, are you coming Ah bed Ah me? No, I'll be Ah computer for a while.)



She's started to develop some caution, which is a very new thing for her. It's a relief that she's becoming less apt to fling herself into danger's way, but somehow I feel like we've lost something, too. I always admired the fearless enthusiasm with which Zoe tackled new situations. From the time she could walk we could drop her onto an unfamiliar playground and she would instantly head for the tallest slide and zoom up and down it until we dragged her away. Now she hesitates. She often turns around and comes back down the stairs, holding tightly to the railing until she reaches terra firma. Last year I swam with her in the Atlantic Ocean and numerous lakes and pools. This summer she is utterly freaked out by sand and water. Two years old seems too early to look back fondly and miss the good old days, but there it is. Little girl is growing up.

What I want to say here is how wonderful she's made my life. What I want to say is how much harder and more complex it is now than it used to be, but that I would never, never, ever go back to a time before Zoe. But I have read these words before, a million times, in other people's blogs and poems and memoirs, and I have no new insights to add. I am a complete motherhood cliche - glowing with pride and adoration and exasperation and exhaustion (little girl does NOT sleep well on the road). Everything they say about how great this is - is true.

Happy birthday, little Bean. I love you. That is all.

Comments

  1. Aww! Happy Birthday Zoe!

    She's so cute, I enjoyed reading about her.

    ~Cassia :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    Now, with 2, the cuteness turns to curiosity!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ya, we're kind of already seeing that...

    Thanks for reading!

    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…

Generosity in Programming

I had the most interesting conversations with a few of my students after my first recital performance last weekend.  One thanked me for exposing her to so many interesting new pieces that she had never heard before.  One admitted unabashedly that his favorites were the familiar ones, the ones he already knew from his previous listening.  And both of these observations rang true to me.

See, I LOVE learning new music.  I really enjoy digging into a piece and breaking through an unfamiliar harmonic language to get to the depths of it.  To discover the composer's intention, and to find the universal emotion or experience at the heart of the work, and then to communicate that meaning back out to an audience.  This challenge is fun for me, and I think I do it well.

I have to be fair, though.  By the time I have put that kind of work into a new piece, it's not new to me anymore.  By the time I get it to the recital stage, it's an old friend.  I find great pleasure in performing i…

Self-Talk

When we started the opera cycle (An American Dream, showing at the Harris Theater tonight and Sunday afternoon), the four woodwinds were sitting stacked in a rehearsal room.  In other words, the flute to my right, the bassoon behind me, the clarinet behind the flute, just like in the orchestra.  And it was OK.  We were fairly close together, the room was resonant, and we were working on orchestral details.  But when we moved into the pit, this seating felt VERY isolating.  The four of us were far apart, on two different levels, the wall was right next to me, and intonation and ensemble were very much more difficult.  Our entrances and releases were not clean together, and because we had to balance to the singers on stage, I found my playing getting more and more tentative.  Don't be too loud, don't come in early before the clarinet, keep everything in the box, try to lead the entrances but stay in the texture... And it felt like everything that was not quite great was my fault…