Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I'm A Fan

Both of my kids are engaged in both sports and performance extracurricular activities.  I enjoy watching them both play soccer, sure; but after all those times of hanging out on the sidelines watching games, I still can't tell you anything about soccer.  Outside of good passes and scoring a goal, I can't tell you if they're doing any good at soccer or not.  Of course, in a way, the game itself is secondary to what I hope they get out of it - a feeling of accomplishment and those character traits and life lessons we all value so much.

The same can be said about watching the kids perform, but I get so much more out of those performances.  I won't lie - some of it has to do with the fact that a piano recital or a show choir presentation is in a climate controlled building.  It's been a cold, wet spring around these parts lately, so watching soccer (let alone playing soccer) hasn't been as enjoyable as perhaps it could be.  But more than that, it's easier for me to see progress in the arts.  Take Auggie's piano recital from below.  You'll notice it's not perfect, but this is only his second recital; and he's only been doing lessons for a little over a year (if memory serves me correctly).

You'll have to take my word for it:  his improvement has been massive.  This particular set of pieces delighted me because he put some unexpected flourishes in there (dynamic volume, for example) that just put a huge smile on my face.  Watching his hands dance puts a spell on me - I could literally watch him play all day.  I can't get enough.

Marina will be starting piano this summer with the same teacher.  To say that she is excited would be the understatement of the century.  Marina is shockingly comfortable in front of crowds.  If she's nervous, she doesn't betray it at all.  At her show choir performance a few weeks ago, she was at home on the stage; and before and afterward, she was positively effervescent, a recipient of the rush that performing can give you.  I'm hoping to upload that performance soon (in front of a sold out crowd at the Buskirk-Chumley theater) so you can see what I'm talking about.  Mini-Sync (the name of her choir) starts again in the fall, and she'll be there with bells on.  Until then, I'm sure piano will become a favorite activity for her.

I know that dads will always love watching their kids do sports, piano, singing, painting, speeches - all that stuff.  But each time I see the kids do something like this, the joyous feeling I get feels brand new.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I thank and love my kids for this.  It's yet another reason it's great to be a dad.  Auggie, Marina - I'm your biggest fan!