Lily has been working on a piece by Paganini for about three months now which means that everyone else in the family has heard little parts of Paganini in addition the intensely annoyed sounds of a frustrated ten year old girl.
In short, having Mr. Paganini around has been tough on all of us. Particularly Miss Lily, of course.
When she played her school recital in May, she made what she called a "big mistake"... truthfully, I didn't notice because she continued playing and didn't seem rattled. All of the problems that happened during practice at home were accompanied by her mad little feet stamping in anger along with a teary red face. Since that didn't happen at the recital, I assumed everything was cool.
I was wrong.
The following week she was set to play the same piece for the youth service at church.
She practiced all week but still had a tough time getting all the way through without mistakes.
On Sunday morning, Karl (our in-house violin cop) told her that she needed to play through it twice without mistakes before she could pack up and go.
That didn't happen- she had some problems and got upset and we figured that it would be better if she arrived at church not crying her eyes out.
That's why it was something of a miracle when she made it through the entire piece without incident. She started playing and her eyebrows climbed really high and stayed that way. She looked scared. She didn't blink. She didn't breath. But she didn't make a mistake. When she was finished playing she paused for just a second.. took a breath and sighed "whoa."
It was by far the proudest, most relieved "whoa" I think I have ever heard.