From Carnegie Hall to the Lehigh Valley

Spiffed up and ready to roll …I promised you a weekend recap, and so I shall indulge in one!  I spent the last two weeks getting more and more wound up, trying to get Fynn ready for his recital, find outfits, work out girl’s weekend details, and survive another couple of weeks of homeschooling.  If you’ve read the blog the last few weeks, the few posts that surfaced made those feelings pretty clear!  Not much sleep was had, tempers were frayed at best, and we just barely squeaked by.  After a last rehearsal on Thursday night at Fynn’s cello class, I was sure that a) he could play squeakily and off key and no one would be able to hear it thanks to the din of 178 other kids, and b) that it was going to be really really cool to see him on stage at such a fabulous concert hall. 

We arrived in good time, with a purse chock full of contraband food because I knew he would never survive a 1.5 hour wait till stage time, plus a 3 hour concert!  Not a chance.  I held my breath and tried not to get claustrophobia in the preproom, which was utter mayhem with kids, cases, tuners, teachers, not enough information, and tired little kids.  Fynn was in the youngest bunch, being 4, and the only one who was playing just Twinkle and nothing else.  He had to be on stage though while the others played through the more complicated pieces, which was the time I was actually worried about.

They finally lined them up (I got to be backstage until he went on, because he was so young) and we wound down many flights of stairs and through back rooms and corridors until suddenly there was the open stage door.  I’d honestly never been in Carnegie before, so seeing it from the stage door for the first time was suddenly overwhelming.  A hurried kiss to Fynn and I was shuttled off to my seat at the back of the main floor.  By the time I got there he was smack in the middle of the front row, set up and looking entirely too small to be there. I immediately relaxed and started to enjoy it all, because no matter what happened from then on, I couldn’t do anything about it!

Carnegie Hall is huge!  The bow in the way was courtesy of one of the ~600 violin students in the audience, getting ready for their turn on stage.  I spent time peering around and craning my neck up to see the 4 levels above me, and then focused on my little man in the front row.

Sawing away at Twinkle, he’s the one right behind the black speaker box.  Part of my heart took wing and disappeared right into his at that moment, never to be recovered.  He’s no prodigy, but seeing him be so incredibly earnest and serious bowled me over.  He was a different child.

Of course, during the 20 minutes he had to wait while the others played, there was some nose picking and a bit of rocking back and forth, but nothing that made me wish to sink lower into my seat :).  He was eventually taken off stage, packed up, and brought back to me in the audience.  His blood sugar had plummeted to something unreadable I’m sure, and there were some yelps of when he couldn’t climb over some other kids to get to me fast enough, but it was sorted out quickly with a Lara bar and all was well.

He spent most of his time listening intently to the violins, and the rest staring around the hall in a bit of awe.   As did I.  A final sortie to collect belongings and commemorative t-shirts, and we were off for a popsicle and some running around central park.  Whew!!

He managed to keep the white shirt clean, which shocked me, and then made up for it by peeing on the shirt later because he gave me little warning that he needed a pit stop while in the park.  Thankfully it’s rocky and full of greenery!  I wound down, escaped to the train, and hightailed it out of town.  My sis picked me up in NJ, and we were the first ones to arrive at our rental in the Lehigh Valley of eastern PA later that night. 

We did a lot of sitting and talking …

Ate and snacked like royalty thanks to some fabulous cooks …

Horseradish cheddar right there, mmmmm …… and stayed up late every night.  The highlight was the all-day rafting trip down the Lehigh river valley, lush and gorgeous this time of year, and it was a surprisingly good workout to boot!  I’m still rather sore, given the amount of paddling and all.  We didn’t want to be too crowded by other rafts (there were about 20 rafts in our group, and 4 kayak-based guides) so we started at the front of the pack.  After getting tired of all that business, because we still kept bumping into people, we drifted to the back and had a lot more fun after lunch, shooting the rapids the way we wanted to and without distractions. 

It was funny at lunch, the guides all migrated towards our big spread of cheeses and meats and veggies, suddenly finding their protein bars not quite as satsifying.  The mother hen came out in most of us, and they all ate quite well too.  It was utter bliss to be carefree, in the sun and trees, far away from everything familiar.  I thought several times how much Douglas would have loved to be on the river, and Michael too, but I wasn’t pining for them by any means.  I had to soak up all the estrogen I could before coming back to my sweaty boys!  Very very glad I got out for a few days, and already plotting how soon I can get away with it again …