Monday, February 21, 2005

I’m in hysterics. Youngest has her bi-annual piano recital this evening. She’s quite happy, reading her Einayim quarterly (this is a wonderful magazine for children, published in cahoots with the Israel museum, highly recommended). Why do I always have to be the one who has the butterflies? (Butterflies?! Now isn’t that an understatement? A minor heart attack would probably be more accurate).

I am silly. It’s quite a friendly event. First of all it usually takes place, as it is this evening, in my in-laws’ apartment. Their daughter, Youngest’s cousin, is this amazingly talented pianist of twelve and a half. So Youngest feels quite at home there, and so do we, naturally.

There are usually about six other little girls (there used to be a boy once, we’re told, before Youngest started playing, but he grew up and went into the army). The girls are of varying ages, all lovingly instructed by teacher Tanya. Talented, dedicated, and a really nice person, albeit completely incapable of ever arriving on time, Tanya is a good example of the immense contribution the immigration from the former Soviet Union countries has made to Israel (besides the influx of piano teachers bringing the prices of private piano lessons way down to something reasonably affordable).

Youngest isn’t a bad little pianist for her age, so after I’ve got over my (?!) stage fright it is an opportunity to kvell. Our Sis and I always have tears in our eyes, thinking how Mum would have loved it. Our Sis says it’s alright. She’s sitting up there with her parents, looking down, nudging everyone and saying “Look, that’s my granddaughter”.

I haven’t forgotten a gift for Tanya. I’ve been known to do that. We’ve noticed that Russian students (who arrive dressed in beautiful little dresses with white ribbons in their hair, while our kids are in blue jeans and T-shirts) always bring flowers for the teacher, so I did that for the last few recitals. This time I got her something that won’t die after a few days (unless she drops it).

Update: There were far more than seven this time. And a far larger audience than usual, what with grandparents, uncles, aunts, distant cousins from Ashdod, the guy from the grocery store across the road. You get the picture. Anyway, that would all have been okay if some nasty little girls and their parents couldn't extend to Youngest the same courtesy everyone else had extended to them when they played. It was their horrid parents fault, of course. All things considered, Youngest played beautifully. Knowing her fiery temperament, I was actually surprised she didn't turn round and wallop them.