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Niece + Music = Perfect Bliss

July 10, 2010

  In a few hours my 9-year old niece is coming to stay with me for the week.  Which is a thought too lovely for words – because I happen to like her as much as I love her… because she smells like sleepy snuggles and wide-eyed possibilities and sun-kissed skin… because she sets off a dance party in my heart whenever she twirls her way through my brain.

Our first big plan for the week is a symphony concert tomorrow night.  In the park.  You need to show up early to nab a patch of grass, so we’re making a day out of it with the idea of being as low-key and lazy as we can be.  Maybe we’ll read to each other, or play for the title of ‘Go Fish’ champion of the world, or lie on our backs and look for shapes in the clouds to pass the time.  We’ll see. 

When niece was a much smaller person and lived closer to my big city than she has in recent years, we had regular dates to the Kids’ Koncerts my local symphony puts on in which she would dance and wiggle and laugh until I couldn’t help but dance and wiggle and laugh along.  Afterwards, we would stop for a hot chocolate and then wander the city on the hunt for street musicians who had nice voices and friendly smiles and give them money so they could keep making music.  But that was years ago. 

This will be her first “grown-up” symphony concert.  And I’m hoping praying trusting that she’ll enjoy it as much as I think she will.  What she’ll get to hear will include selections from Bizet’s “Carmen” and Bernstein’s “West Side Story”, Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and the 3rd movement of his “Violin Concerto”, Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture”, and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” to finish things off with a literal bang.  Crowd pleasers all, but I’m hoping they’re niece pleasers too.

You see, she’s now around the age when I started hearing classical music with my own ears.  And while I can’t pressure her to feel the same way about it as I do, I do want to facilitate her enjoying the experience as much as possible, the way my parents did with me.  I think it’ll be an easy sell – she’s got an inate sense for good music, and consistently surprises me with how deeply she listens to it.  But she is her own person and gets to form her own opinions about these things.  I just hope it’s a fun day for her so that her memories that involve classical music (and me) are good ones.

And I’m hoping this week doesn’t fly as fast as I’m anticipating it will.

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