Gig, zoo, naptime

Tonight we did a fundraiser concert for the orchestra I’m currently playing with. We performed Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, Vivaldi’s “Spring” Violin Concerto, and the first movement from Holst’s, “The Planets”, crowd pleasers all. Though I’ve heard the Mozart and the Vivaldi in particular fully one billion times, they are still fun to play and to listen to. I also got to meet a few new people through this gig, including a cellist who’s moved into the area recently. The conversation we had in the break helped enhance my enjoyment of the music, because sharing our stories with each other brought back the time when I couldn’t play due to an injury I sustained the summer after my second year of grad school. I limped my way through the rest of my Masters, but having not got a clear answer or help, stopped playing for a while after that. I was scared I’d hurt myself so badly I’d never recover. Ultimately, I met someone a while after I’d moved out west who helped get me back on my feet, and the joy of reconnection with music then was quite precious. It helps me to remember that when I’m feeling burned out or tired. I am so grateful to be able to play, and to be able to make music with such great friends and colleagues. I know that I am sometimes a broken record on that subject, but having a job that I love so much is a great gift.

The day was good, too. We went to the zoo this morning, and after shuttling around with the stroller to see a few animals, we found a spot where we could let the twins out to see the few farm animals they’ve got. The area is very toddler-friendly. When they’re a year older I think I’ll be able to walk around more freely with them, but until we can have a conversation, even if it’s a bit rudimentary, I don’t want to risk letting them roam in displays where in the blink of an eye they could be under a fence and into the water. I explained that to Hazel, and she asked, “But why?” I said there’d be a whole rigmarole, I’d have to jump in after them, they’d get wet, I’d get wet, we’d all be unhappy, not worth it. “Oh,” she said.

When I was a kid in St. Louis, I remember an occasion on which someone’s kid somehow fell into the carp pond at the Japanese Garden. The dad jumped in to rescue him, and it turned out that the water was very shallow, no heroics required: the kid was standing up within a couple seconds of falling in. But I’d rather not experience that myself.

My parents, of course, are right now rolling their eyes as they read this: when I was a little kid I was a devotee of falling into any body of water they said I couldn’t get into. There is a picture of my sister pouring the water out of my Wellies after I’d fallen into a stream we’d stopped by when we were out for the day during a trip to Scotland when I was six years old. Still, a zoo display, in front of masses of people, seems worse, if only from the embarrassment angle. It’s all in your perspective, I guess. There is a line in the “Goon Show” (a BBC radio show from the 50’s), the sole utterance of a character named, “Little Jim” that goes, “He’s fallen in the water!”. This was repeated with some frequency in our household. This may or may not explain some things about my weird sense of humor and interest in somewhat arcane art.

Anyway, to get back on track, we spent a couple of hours at the zoo and then came home for lunch. Despite falling asleep in the car on the way back, the twins were by no means interested in participating in anything so boring as a nap. Neither of them fell asleep nursing, so after I’d read to them, nursed them, sung to them, and read to them some more, I was faced with the prospect of applying two reluctant toddlers to their mattresses and trying to get them to stay there. After I turned out the lights in order to accomplish this, I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t step on, trip over, or otherwise bonk a twin who was roaming around in the room. Consequently I went, very carefully, from bed to bed, putting them back down while they wailed and gnashed their teeth (I presume). Miraculously, after I’d replaced each of them in their beds a couple of times, they stayed. And then it was just the usual matter of soothing, patting, murmuring, persuading. They did go to sleep. And Hazel had quiet time. And I chatted with a friend on FB.

This weekend is quite populated with rehearsals and practicing, but it will also be gorgeous weather, so I am sure there will also be gardening, going for walks, and having picnics. I am looking forward to it.

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