The Fruits of Recreation
For the past 10 years, I have gotten together with three other women about 3 times a month for about 2 hours at a time. In all those years, we have seen each other get married (me), have kids (two of us), and say goodbye to children leaving the nest (the other two of us), and have provided countless consults to each other on everything from which herbal products are not actually voodoo bunk (me - the pharmacist), the best therapists in town (the therapist), great literature (the English professor) and sprains/strains (the physician). We've been there for each other through hard times and happy times. We've laughed, we've cried, we've played lots and lots of Beethoven. These women are my string quartet buddies, and together we make up the very amateur but very enthusiastic Desdemona Quartet.
For the past 5 of those years, all of this bonding has been at the direct expense of Marc's freedom - he's the one at home with our kids while I'm out playing violin. Such is the life of a husband who supports his wife's passion for music. I tend to think he made a pretty smart investment. Here's what he got for all that time 'on' with the kids:
- A wife who is actually passably decent on the violin.
- A happy wife who comes home refreshed and ready to take over for him.
- A wife who can share her happiness with him and with the kids, even perhaps inspiring someone else to follow his/her passion. There is nothing like teaching your children how to have a fun adult life.
- A daughter who excitedly yet quietly says she has chosen the violin for herself. Not that I want to create a mini-me, but the idea that I may have been able to uncover her own love of music-making is wonderful.
- Extra time with his terrific kids.
- An equivalent amount of time to pursue his own interests.
And this past weekend, my quartet gave a little recital to celebrate our 10 years together. Each of us invited a few music-loving friends and family members to hear some of the pieces we'd been practicing. Marc and our children were there, and I felt very loved.