When one thinks of the life of a classical singer on the day of her performance, one might conjure images of sleeping until noon while wearing a silk eye mask, eating only the most healthily prepared food prepared by someone else of course, doing an hour of yoga followed by a hot relaxing shower while warming up her voice for the first time that day at what is now 4pm. Well, one would be wrong. At least in the case of this classical singer/mommy/teacher/fill in the blank.
It all started on the eve of my recital a few weeks ago when Melaina called out from sleep with a very sore throat. Even when she's got the most terrible cold, she usually doesn't mention her throat at all so I was worried. So just to play it safe, the next morning I took her to the doctor and they diagnosed what I was most afraid of -strep throat. Luckily, it was something that she could easily get rid of by consuming that pink antibiotic of wonders. So thus began the day from H-E-double hockey sticks.
So I came home to care and nurse my poor baby while trying to keep my other healthy baby from sneaking sips of Melaina's drink or bites of food which in itself is a monumental task. Not to mention, all of the "not talking" I had planned for the day was out the window. All in all, though, the day from down-under-and-I-don't-mean-Austrailia went as well as I could have hoped for given the circumstances. Tom went in a little late to work and my mom came to keep Clara while we went to the doc. Not to mention our wonderful babysitter came several hours earlier than we had planned so that I could mentally prepare for the performance. (what also helped was an 8 minute guided meditation i bought on i-tunes. Awesome. I did it twice) This glass half full view of the days events only comes weeks after the actual day. On the actual day, I was freaking the *&$% out, to put it mildly.
Believe it or not, the purpose of this post isn't to recount the happenings of that blessed day. My point is just to state even further what life has really been teaching me this past year or so. I have control over pretty much, NOTHING. The moment I get in my head what a certain day should or WILL be like, it's like God is saying "Oh, child, have mercy! (I'm pretty sure God is an enormous black woman). When will you get it into your thick head that you don't spin the world on your little ol' finger. I guess I'll just have to show you once again who has the real power".
And then just like that, life happens and I freak out because something "awful" happens to destroy, I mean literally destroy what plans I have made. But seriously, when will I learn that every time this happens I have the opportunity to grow, to learn, to evolve. I have been given the chance through something as little and minor as the strep throat incident to change my way of thinking.
And when it comes to the performance, well, there's something to be learned as well. Art isn't about nice smooth edges and seamlessness. It is about communicating the real human condition which is not at all pristine or holy, but rather passionate, messy and at times tragic. I chose this life of wife and mother over that of staying in the trenches as a performer and leading that very uncertain life so that I could experience the days like this one. A day filled with caring for others in a home I love surrounded by all I could ever need. And the friends! Friends who came out to love and support me whether or not classical music is their thing. Friends that are always around, not just the sort that one meets during a 6 week engagement and then moves on to the next gig. And I have to say that I think I enjoyed performing way more after a day filled with being taught lessons and giving love and compassion to my sick daughter than I ever would have sleeping until noon and getting a massage...
Though, that would have been nice.