I'm on week 2 of the big Road Trip with the kids (hence the blog silence of late). Last week we were in Kentucky visiting my parents, which was grand. We did Halloween there and celebrated my mom's birthday on November 1, and the kids and my parents enjoyed each other's company so I could get some time to practice piano. This week we're in Kansas, where I've been putting together a duo piano recital with my college teacher. While we're at it, the kids are enjoying lots of time with my parents-in-law, who have been doing a LOT of babysitting while I've been in rehearsals, and we've spent a little time dropping in on other relatives, too.
My parents are here, too, in fact. My mom rode along with me and Daniel and Anya, and my dad arrived in the middle of the week after picking up Stuart in Ohio, where he had to travel for work (it's a little complicated). Since Wednesday, Daniel and Anya have had not one, but two sets of grandparents and their dad to watch them while I am working and rehearsing. That adds up to five adults doing the job I normally do on my own every single day, and I still feel a small twinge of guilt about being gone so much, especially in the evenings. At this point, the guilt is more of a reflex than anything else.
Now it's after midnight, and I am almost never up this late, but for some reason I just can't get to sleep tonight. The recital is on Sunday, just two days away, and I'm not nervous, exactly, but my brain won't wind down. I keep thinking about the music we're playing and how quickly it has come together. I think about my life as a parent and how it is so hard to really focus on anything else enough to do it well. Preparing for this recital has taken a tremendous amount of energy for the last several weeks, and this week of cramming rehearsals in between K's insane teaching schedule would not have been possible if I didn't have so many family members around to help out with the kids.
I have also spent some time this week working with the piano students here. I've been coaching them on some duet repertoire they are preparing for a rather informal recital later in the semester. And this afternoon I had the privilege of coaching a very talented young tenor and his very talented young pianist on some songs they are working on for the singer's senior recital. I was nervous about it, actually, because I was afraid they would be so stunning that I would have nothing to say to them and I would come out of it looking like a stammering fool...but of course that wasn't the case. They did very well, but the repertoire they had chosen was quite difficult, and while I wasn't familiar with the particular songs they had chosen, I thought of a few suggestions. Who am I kidding? I am a giant music geek, especially when it comes to art song repertoire, and I always have suggestions (though I try to keep them to myself unless my advice is solicited). If I could have a job someday playing and coaching chamber music and song repertoire, that would be great. Someone gimme a job doing that, okay?