Four Awards for My Birthday

“Mama, would it be alright when you don’t get a gift on your birthday, but lots of little gifts throughout the year,” my daughter asked last week.

Well, what would you reply? Lots of little gifts sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Besides, I knew how busy Emily was since the beginning of the year… “Okay,” I said and smiled.

The day before my birthday I consider having received my first gift:


Emily was not even asked to play at the concert, because receiving all her awards was probably time consuming enough: One scholarship award for grade 5 violin, one scholarship award for grade 9 piano, one Provincial finalist award, and one she had secretly hoped for but not dared to expect, the Musicianship award which is awarded to a musician who plays two or more instruments with excellence.

Considering that she went to Provincials last year for grade 7 and this year once again for grade 9 is almost to good to be true.

“How many hours a day do you practice,” a talented musician’s mother asked. – “Not nearly enough,” Emily answered truthfully. Although she recently quit swim team in order to gain more time for practicing her instruments, she has a life as well.

“I guess you can achieve anything you put your mind to,” her music teacher said yesterday with more ease in her voice. After all Emily put a lot of pressure on the old lady as well. “In my over fifty years of teaching I think I never had a student who would even consider registering for two practical exams on the same day and with such little time to practice for it,” she said. “It takes an Emily to do that.”

What an achievement so far, Emily, but no rest in sight yet. Next weekend is the Zone Competition, end of May Provincials, beginning of June violin and piano exams, end of June school exams… after that – no matter the outcome – a well deserved trip to Germany!

“Okay,” I said last week, because who cares for a big birthday present, when the small gestures, the experience and the participating in someone else’s joy counts so much more. In the end I wouldn’t trade my daughter’s smile or her famous hugs for any birthday gift in the world.






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