Saturday, May 20, 2006

Art and Joy at Stockley Gardens

First he likes art, and now he's using his violin to make music instead of to pick his nose, scratch his ankles, and dig little holes in the stage. Next he'll be eating his breakfast with a fork, and wearing his underpants on his butt. What kind of mixed-up crazy world am I living in? Is my child maturing at last? Or is this a phase, and we can go back to the old way next week? You know, the old way, where he played the wrong song at the wrong time and then wandered off the stage to pick a daisy or tell a stranger that he likes Hondas, while the other kids all played Twinkle.

Every time the Arts Festival takes over Stockley Gardens, the Suzuki students of STAHR take over the stage. They are, it cannot be denied, cute. The sight of all those little darlings, sawing away on their fractional violins, is guaranteed to make you smile, if not weep copiously, like I do. I juggle the phone camera and the video camera and the still camera, and the baby stroller, and people say, "When did he start playing?" and I say, "He was three," and they can't believe the violins come that small. Usually Benny gets up and plays his solo backward or falls off the stage or something. This year he was dramatically civilized.

I wish I could say I miss the old days, when other parents thumped me on the back sympathetically and said, "Well, he is very entertaining!" Of course, those days will probably be back. I can't dare to hope we have turned an actual corner. It must be a phase. I won't let myself believe otherwise.

You can't see the Suzuki kids tomorrow, because they already played. But you can go and see the art. Where else can you walk around on a sunny day and view interesting art while eating Ben and Jerry's, or even that difficult looking nightmare chicken part that I saw smoking half-cooked ona giant grill today? It's happening tomorrow until 6pm. It's free, it's fun, and it's probably safe to eat by now! You can bring your dog.

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