I'd never been to Carnegie Hall before.
Last Thursday The Stevieling was part of her school choir, which was joining five others in an evening of music in the Isaac Stern auditorium, Carnegie Hall, and the family decamped there-wards for some culture.
Seated all around were other proud parents, some of whom I knew, some from many years of meeting at similar, if less upscale, events. Behind me, with her family, was an enchanting five-year old girl who - like most of her kind - reminded me of the days when The Stevieling was that age.
Since our choir was on next-to-last I got to see a cross section of Long Island school choirs sing. There isn't much to say. The youngest kids had material that was too repetitive and went on too long for non-parents to appreciate, while one of the older kids' choir presented a "World Premier" of a piece that could have had a subjective month lopped off it without ruining the experience in my opinion.
But everyone had practiced until they'd turned blue and was giving it their all in Carnegie Hall for crying out loud! I gave each kid in each choir a heartfelt round of applause when each choir's program ended, and I meant every handclap as a salute to their hard work and professionalism under stress.
Then I watched my all-but seventeen year-old daughter mount the rostrum with her peers, and a peculiar double image formed in which a choir of five year old children mingled with the evening dress-clad young women and dress suited young men on the stage. I couldn't figure out who these young women and young men were. It wasn't that long ago that I was building her tree house, surely
The music swelled and folded us in simply wonderful for about twenty minutes, and all too soon it was over and I was on the sidewalk wearing a stupid expression while trying to find everyone in the crowds.
I still can't figure out when my little girl grew up.