Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Years

Quinn performed in her first concert today! Well...she didn't actually play but she went on stage with everyone and stared out at the audience with an intense look of intrigue.

Quinn has increasingly become more enamored with the violin and all of its lovely charms. A couple of weeks ago she sat in on group class and practiced with the other students for the entire hour. That was a first for her, where she usually does a couple of pieces before dropping her violin to the ground and racing around the room cackling. She's having fun with it and we are fortunate enough to have a very forgiving teacher, Miss Jane, who allows them to be themselves. If Quinn wants to play along with every piece in the book, regardless of correct knowledge, then she can do it. She also gets to decide how far she wants to go, even if that means not doing anything at all.

Which led to the reality of her first stage performance. Once she was up there, it became quickly obvious that Quinn wasn't going to play. I'm okay with that. I just want her to enjoy herself and learn about music. I want her to feel comfortable with it, meet wonderful people and develop her imagination. Just going up on the stage and standing there was a brave thing to do. It was only a year ago that Lucas gave his first concert performance and when he performed today, it was a completely different. He was so confident and determined. He held himself with composure and maturity. It was a blessing to see such a transformation.

Quinn will get there too. She'll have plenty of opportunities. I believe it's extremely valuable for children to learn early on that life upon a stage isn't as dramatic as we all make it out to be. I grew up with absolute terror of standing before an audience. I don't want my kids to feel that unnecessary burden. The level of comfort that one displays when speaking or performing before others is just as vital as the content within it. By the time they are in their awkward tween years, I want that ridiculous worry to be the furthest thing from their mind. They will have many years of stage work under their belt by then and, with the proper support, will be complete naturals up there.

In a way, I'm actually proud of my little girl for what happened today. She did it her way. She didn't freak out but she did gain a new perspective on her life. Every day she grows into her own new self. This is the age when your child suddenly starts to step away from you. I look at Quinn and I can see the unique little being coming to the surface. She no longer needs us for everything and so often now, she will express her own opinion about the world around her. It completely baffles my mind to look at her and realize how different Quinn is going to be compared to the rest of us. We all shape each other with our intimate influence but we also have our own presence. That wasn't very apparent with Quinn until now. From such a tiny spark, she will develop into a dynamic force of nature. She will control the universe. It's overwhelming to witness this development as a parent but it also makes me extremely proud. I love to watch her and imagine the huge possibilities that may come from her life.

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