Tonight I went with Caroline to her cello recital. On the way there, she was nervous. She didn't really want to do it. What if she messed up the middle section? What if her fingers slipped on the shifts?
I tried to tell her: Caroline, you'll be amazing. This will be fun. You'll get up there and play with all the sadness in the universe and my heart will ache with the beauty of your music.
But she wasn't so sure. What if she couldn't remember the music?
In my head I was thinking: let's cross that bridge if we come to it.
But we didn't come to it. Instead we came to the moment where my heart ached with the beauty of her music. The beauty of my little girl who is so earnest and filled with joy, who is truly moved by the sound of her cello, just as she is hungry to get out on the volleyball court and leave a path of destruction in her wake.
She puts her head on my lap every night as I read her a bedtime story, then dims the lights so I can tell her The Rock-a-Bye Lady, a poem about an old woman who creeps into your room at night, bringing poppies filled with dreams for your slumber.
Nothing odd about that, right?
Caroline loves it. She loves the closeness of such moments. She is my girl who can talk incessantly, telling me one story from three different angles. The art of paraphasing is completely lost on her. Why paraphrase when one can embellish? Why distill the essence when words can be a feast?
On the way home I tried to tell her how her music had moved me. She listened, beaming, renewed for another hundred years of music lessons. She wants to play in more recitals. She would like to enter more competitions.
Some days you have to cross bridges. You have to figure out what to do if your finger slips or you mess up the middle section.
Some days surprise you with a rally in the final inning.
It's not always apparent why either way is so, though with a certain degree of self awareness I can usually hazard a pretty good guess.
The main thing is to give it your best shot. Or sometimes just a shot.
I'm glad for Caroline it turned out to be a lovely final inning.