Several months ago, Hatfield played Green, one of Kevin Olson's Sonatina's in Color, for a local piano association's Baroque Festival. She played very well, and her scores earned her a spot in the Honors Recital the following weekend.
The Honors Recital was held in a large auditorium of a local high school, with several hundred people in attendance.
Hatfield played towards the end of the recital, and two other girls played parts of the Sonatina as well (she played Green, another girl Yellow, a third girl Blue.)
She plays the piece from memory, and during this recital, she played the first section beautifully. The melody flowed from her fingers, as she crescendo-ed and decrescendo-ed through the piece.
The second section begun, and about 3 notes in, she stopped.
As she described it, it was gone.
Simply. Horrifyingly. Gone.
She couldn't remember how it sounded. She couldn't remember what came next. She couldn't remember how it bridged to the third section to perhaps skip it.
In piano, dance, and violin, you are taught that when you make a mistake, you just keep going. All of my children know it, and can do it, as they have all had moments where they have needed to do it, and that's one of the things I love most about these things.
Yet that day, Hatfield learned, you can't keep going if nothing's there. And at that moment, you pray to God that something, or someone, will show up to help you keep going.
My poor girl.
Thankfully, her teacher was there, and had the piece, and ran it up onstage to Hatfield. She was able to pound out the rest of the song, shaky here and there, but beautiful nonetheless, and she earned a huge round of applause.
Afterwards, she and I sat next to one another in the dark auditorium. I gripped her hand tightly, as the last student performed.
As soon as the recital was over, we hightailed it the hell out of there. We got to the car where she had a huge cry.
Her teacher is amazing, and within 10 minutes of arriving home, Mrs. H. was at the doorstep, with a huge hug and wonderful words for Hatfield. We assured her that it was so very, very evident that she was well-rehearsed-- she knew the song-- but it was just one of those moments when something just leave us. No amount of practice can prevent it, and it happens to the best.
Her teacher assured her that we were so incredibly proud of her for toughing it out onstage. She continued. She just kept going. She didn't run offstage, or dissolve in tears, all of which we would have completely understood.
She just kept going.
Today, several months later, our piano teacher held her annual Spring Recital at a retirement home down the road from us (her mother lives there, and the elderly residents love attending the recitals.)
Hatfield chose to play Green.
She brought along her music.
But, she didn't use the music. She chose to play the piece from memory, once again.
I am so inspired by and in complete awe of my girl. The whole no music after the Honors Recital incident? To trust in yourself and put aside that fear? To risk the same thing happening again?
That, my friends, is simply Bad Ass.
I am SO proud of my girl.
And here she is.