Friday, October 31, 2008


Hayden has been playing cello for a year and a few months now. Last night she had a concert where the 7th grade, 8th grade, 7/8 full symphony and then a small alternative strings group played. She plays in all of them but the 8th grade group (She's a 7th grader). Lots of people left after the 7th graders finished, not having a kid in the other groups. Those people missed the best parts of the show in my humble opinion.

Watching Hayden playing made me feel real pride, not the easy words you say to a kid when they've done something and look over at you to see if you saw it, but the physical manifestation of real pride in another person. That feeling grows from the love you have for that person and from the deep connection you feel with them. It wasn't the sort of pride like, 'look at what a great mom I am and how awesome my kid is turning out!' it's the pride you feel when you see someone you love deeply, forging a life for themselves and tapping into their talents and discovering who they are. It always makes my eyes well with tears, and I am soooo not a crier!

As someone who can't play her way out of a paper bag so to speak, I always feel admiration of people who can play. But watching Hayden, and knowing that she's done this all on her own, with pretty much zero prompting from me or Kevin, makes my heart swell. We have merely provided her the tools she needs to play and to get better, she's done all the work herself. She stays after school often partly to practice and partly because I think she adores her teacher and she has developed close friendships with other girls in orchestra. I love seeing her so devoted to something, so determined. It simply makes me smile.

Last night during some of the pieces they played, I stared in awe watching their hands.....if you have ever watched someone play violin or cello, you know what I mean. It's so impressive to me to see kids, who are at the most awkward stage in their lives....clumsy, distracted, messy....making these stringed instruments play beautiful music. Their hands move so fast, their faces were so focused. Hayden looks altogether different when she plays, not at all the distracted goofy 12 yr old that lives with me. She's focused, sharp, in her element.

It was the very last piece, Viva la Vida by Coldplay that did me in. That's when the big fat tears made their way to the edge of my eyes. The group that played this was the smallest group of the night and the teacher played with them, some songs she played violin and for Viva la Vida she sat next to Hayden and played cello but she also tapped a bass drum with her foot!. Viva la Vida means live the's a simple but pure statement. They played a video they had made on a screen overhead as they played the music. It was just a simple video of the kids being goofy and having the life so to speak. They played it beautifully, the group was tight and very on. The combination of the music, Coldplay being one of my all-time favorite bands, and the video of the kids living the life, really choked me up.

This is what we want for them, we want them to grow and make their own friends, carve out their own life and be happy most of all. But it's bittersweet, with each passing year Hayden grows more awesome, more mature, more wise, but she takes another step away from me. She has this whole part of her day, her life, that does not include me and that is a hard pill to swallow damn it! I don't yearn for her baby days and I don't mourn the passing of those early childhood days either, she was an easy baby and toddler, she brought us sheer joy. I do still feel the sting of time passing though, sometimes. Most of the time I am able to push it aside, not think about it and carry on. Every now and then a moment or a day comes upon me and there it is.....the inevitable truth. Some day they will all be gone from me, living the life. I hope that we've forged a close enough bond to bring them back from time to time. For now, they are all still here and it's times like last night when I remind myself that I too must live the life. I have to savor each moment I have with them no matter how boring or trivial....I must enjoy watching Jonas play through level 3 again or make sure my eyes are glued when Tristan urges me to watch him skate in the kitchen in his socks. I have to remember not to be short with Hayden when she just has a simple request. Soon enough, it will be so quiet at home. All this time I've wished for just some quiet, so I could think an uninterrupted day I am going to have endless quiet and I am sure to miss the noise.


At 9:32 AM, Blogger Steph said...

Wow - I think that was one of the most touching, heartfelt pieces of writing that I've ever read. I love that you share your thoughts in your blog. I love that you are able to feel the physical manifestation of pride in your kids, especially Hayden. of course I love all 3 of your kids, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Hayden for many reasons. It's so awesome that she has found this passion for music at such a young age. I recall how much joy and focus music brought to me in my early life and yearn for that kind of love and joy in my life now. Of course, as you said, we should be living the life ourselves! Making/taking time for the things that are really important to us. For me, spending time with friends and making time to do creative things are at the top of the list. I love having you and your family in my life.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Smoov said...

Steph - your comments always make me feel giddy! I love how close we've grown in the last few years and I really am so blessed to have such good friends in my life. My kids are lucky to have you around as well!

At 10:49 AM, Blogger HomeJewel said...

Wow, Stacy. This post was awesome. But kudos to you and Keven, too, because it takes you provided what it takes for her to play cello - the $$, the transportation, the encouragement. Yes, she has the drive, but you really are necessary. My parents screwed up a lot, but that is one gift they gave me that has paid back an amazing amount of dividends (I play weekly at church and now accompany at the public high school). It's awesome. Music kept me out of a lot of trouble. It's great that she discovered her gift and is driven to take it someplace.


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