It’s 4:49 p.m. Do you know where your children are?
Mine are practicing. At the same time. One is playing the clarinet (upstairs) while the other is playing the piano (downstairs). I know from experience that the clarinetist focuses so intently that he does not hear his sister at all. She once played on her practice xylophone in the adjoining bedroom while he rehearsed in our upstairs den, and he never knew it.
The Molly Dog also thinks this is a fine time for singing "Wroo Wroo!!"
Today we bought new reeds for the clarinet. The reeds make a difference, as Lisa Simpson once tried to explain. I guess there is a break-in period, and I must admit that as much as I admire Snowman’s effort and musicality, he’s not sounding his best this afternoon. (Don’t tell him I said that; he likes the one new reed he has tried.) He is preparing for two concerts and one big audition, and we have the pleasure of hearing his music for many hours after school and in the evening. We hear Schubert and Mozart and "My hat is has three corners," but please don’t ask me for the real title of the last piece. We hear scales, and scales, and more scales. Tomorrow night he plays with the combined orchestras of City By the Sea’s high schools; in two weeks the youth ensembles at the University of Southern Vacationland have their spring concert; and the following week he jets off for an audition at Land O’ Lakes Arts Academy.
The new reed, just as the possible new situation, require time to be considered. The clarinetist changes the reed simply by playing it, and those who know how make adjustments with sandpaper or a reed knife.
Sometimes I feel like the reed when I am learning to live with new circumstances, polished by the sandpaper of reality, cut by the reed knife of loss.
It’s 5:16. The clarinetist lays down his horn and hunts up his musician’s black suit and bow tie for tomorrow night. The pianist, after a break, resumes her Mozart. The dogs have an after-dinner treat and go outside. Time to get the macaroni and cheese out of the oven; further polishing of the mother must wait.