You may have guessed by this point that it is possible that I have carried over just a teeny tiny bit of anxiety onto my children. I swear, I tried not to. My sweet cello-teacher sister tried to help me - I know that at her first mention of the very word "federation" I went a little pale and tight in the mouth. She tried to reassure me that it can be a great experience for the kids and that the cello judges are very sweet. I tried not to let my kids know that deep down I want nothing to do with Federation. I can't tell if I was successful or not - the kids had plenty of nerves of their own.
What I did not expect (but totally should have) was how much more anxious I would be watching my children play than I ever had been when I was dong the playing. I was a wreck: pounding heart, sweaty palms, shortness of breath...yeah, not pretty. But I tried to keep it to myself and let my kids develop their own emotional issues. Check back in thirty years and we'll let you know how that went. But what I really want to say is how proud of my kids I am. When I did Federation I had to go in a room all alone with my judges but the cellists do it a little differently and I was able to watch and listen and my heart was just swollen with love and pride. Perfect performances? No, not perfect. But it was so lovely to see them reach inside themselves to settle and calm themselves, remember what they knew, find their own strength - quite empowering.
Sadly, no cameras were allowed in the Federation performance, but the week before that we had a practice recital with a group of Margaret's students. Here they are: