Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recital Day

Today, The Boy and Little Bear performed in their first ever violin recital. It was held at the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, and they played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (Little Bear) and The May Song (The Boy). It was followed by a nice cookie reception in the lobby. Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt C were in attendance. The Baby also did a nice job watching his brothers play.

That's the capsule version. The rest of the story is more interesting, I think.

The day started like most Sundays, with the exception that The Wife and The Boy didn't have to leave until later for Sunday school. So, I slept in a little bit and did my normal workout, then ate and cleaned up after everybody's breakfast. They left and Little Bear and The Baby and I did our normal thing: hung out for a little while, then went to the JCC for the open gym time.

The neat thing about the open gym this year (besides The Baby actually being able to play with everything there without being in direct danger of falling over) is that they've put up this ginormous climbing mountain / volcano thing. Little Bear absolutely loves it. It's a tricky morning for us, because The Baby gets really nervous about going places in the morning on the weekends. He really thinks that I'm going to leave him somewhere and go away, and he gets quite anxious about it: so much so that, when asked to put his shoes on, he throws a major league fit. He doesn't - and won't - understand that the JCC is fun time with Daddy.

It's strange, because we've never left him there at the JCC when he's been old enough to remember - and even when he was an infant, we probably used the infant child care a half dozen times at most, so it shouldn't have been enough to leave lasting scars. But, whatever. Once he gets there, remembers the place, and conceptualizes that I'm not going to leave him, he has a great time. He mostly likes to play catch with the basketballs.

We played there until around 11, then we headed over to Beth Shalom for Latkepalooza, the Hanukkah celebration. That's always a fun morning: games, and crafts, and a Hanukkah play, and some dancing. The Wife had packed a bag with fancy clothes, and I brought the violins, so we stuffed ourselves with latkes (potato pancakes) and had fun. The Boy spent most of his time at the various craft tables - he does enjoy his art. Little Bear played with the mini golf putting area for a long time, then he danced joyously with the dance teacher for a half hour. The Baby just hung out and ate. Eventually, I wrestled 1 and 2 into their fancy clothes and we headed out.

2 and 3 fell asleep in the car before we arrived at the church. We left 3 in the car with me, and 1 and 2 went in to get tuned and warmed up. I joined them about ten minutes later and set up the ipad on the nifty iPad tripod that my chorus bought for me. The boys were number 8 and 9, and they played wonderfully. The Wife played piano, and they remember to bow before and after.

Little Bear played and bowed with his own aggressive, joyful style - that's really how he is, and it's beautiful to watch. The Boy (who reflects my personality to an unfortunate degree) took the stage with what can only be described as a "strut," putting his violin to his chin with a flourish. The high five he gave me on his way down the aisle was accompanied by a cathartic "Yeah!!!", which brought some laughs from the crowd.

After another person (there were about 25 kids on the program, which ran about 100 minutes), I took The Baby down into one of the youth rooms, and we chilled together. The boys were quite good during the concert; The Boy slept for a bit, which isn't surprising.

The reception after was quite nice: punch, and cookies, and gluten free brownies that I went to town upon. The kids ate a dozen or so cookies each, although Little Bear was eating an apple. Grandma brought a fruit bowl. The funny bits: Little Bear, standing on top of the small brick wall bordering the lobby, singing "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," at the top of his lungs while dancing a little jig; The Boy, helping the baby swipe a few more cookies; our friend K encouraging the children for more mischief and more cookies. Like father, like sons, after all. The Baby was singing the words to the Suzuki violin songs that he could remember.

But, oh, that Little Bear was in fine form...

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