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Midweek movie nights

Life has been busy for this family for some time now. Not frantic or unsettling, just always busy. Homme is often away with work, or starting early and finishing late. His publisher is in the US and this means emails start coming through at about 9pm most nights. He is liaising with a company in Mongolia on a project and this means the skype conversations take place at about 10pm.

Our girls are busy with their chosen activities of dance and debating and music.

We have a toddler in the house. This means compromise for all. It means that sometimes we forego our weekend outings while he has his afternoon naps.

No one complains. But when homme text me that he was taking an early mark from work on the one day of the week that we have no after school commitments, I jumped at the chance for a cheeky mid week movie treat. I organised our Uni student baby sitter and went online to find a time and venue to take them to see Mrs Carey’s Concert.

The girls were told to finish homework asap and to be ready for an earlier dinner. The details were announced over dinner and they were excited. You see, we have a no tv rule from Monday to Thursday nights (now that our annual fix of Biggest Loser is over), so to skip tv for a night at the movies was a real treat.

We shared one tub of popcorn and sat in a quiet theatre with about eight other people. The movie is a documentary focussing on the music department of MLC, a private girls’ school in Sydney and their preparations for performing at the Opera House. A few girls’ stories are shared and insight is given into the lead up for such a large scale event.

Both our girls play violin. It is not with high expectations from us, just as a valuable skill to have in life and with the hopes that it brings them happiness in later life. Miss i plays in both the Strings Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra in high school. It is the first opportunity she has had to play in a group situation, and she turns up at 7am on two mornings each week to practice. She has played in two concert performances so far this year. She plays at the most novice level and yet she says it is the only time in her life that she does something and can not so much as let any other thought enter her mind while she is playing, for fear of losing her place. She loves the commeraderie of being around girls from all year levels. She is in awe of the number one and number two violinists.

Miss e has fought with me and her violin. We have had tears and tantrums over practice. We have had broken bows. We have had violin teachers make her commit to contracts about practice and listening to my suggestions, given that I attend all her lessons and receive advice from her teachers. She has fought the demon which can arise in clever kids, who for the first time in their life, find something difficult . She has had to face failure. She has come a long way and has matured beyond belief in the past 18 months. She enjoys playing and although still needs constant reminding to practice, she does it without complaint.

I didn't believe I would ever be able say that. Wow.

What did we take away from the movie? Chatting on the way home, I revealed to the girls that sometimes I worry about them not being involved in team sports. They both stated  that belonging to their small dance school, which performs a full length ballet at the end of each year, meant they were part of a team. They only have each other for costume changes (no parents allowed behind stage), they are buddied up with the most junior dancers to assist with cues. They must perform to their best so as to not let their team down. I was impressed. Miss i also revealed that since she has belonged to the orchestras, she understands what Mrs Carey is saying in the movie. That even as the most novice in the orchestra, she is there to support the soloists. She agrees that it is like being in a team, you turn up for practice, you wear your uniform with pride, and you give your best on finals day.

Both girls were as keen as mustard to pull out their violins and practice after dinner tonight. In fact I have just reminded miss e that she missed her bedtime by 20 minutes. She has reworked her schedule in her head to fit in more violin practice because she tells me that she now knows how talented she could be if she practiced like the lead in the movie.

She kissed me goodnight and said that the main thing she got from the movie was that when the number one violinist in the movie, Emily, played violin, she was with her Dad. (He is deceased and was a musician).

I think she got a whole lot more than that.

So this week, I am grateful for midweek movie nights with my homme and my girls.

Thanks to Maxabella for her Grateful Linky