A week ago, both boys were among a dozen kids invited to perform for the local Women's Probus Club, on account of their competition in the Kiwanis Music Festival. We were there to entertain a lunchtime crowd of older ladies who get together monthly to socialize. It was a school day, so the other kids' & parents' availability was limited. Thus the show wasn't just the top overall winners, but a nice little mix of young and less young, a wide range of grade levels. Less than an hour in total.

The hundred ladies of the club were very polite and attentive while sitting around the dozens of circular tables. A clearly-spoken MC read out the biography of each performer, and the right level of claps always arrived before & after. There was often just a little bit of murmur in the background as the kids were playing, nothing offensive. Eventually Eric was called up. Polite clap after his bio was read out. He sat down, examined the odd little CD player nailed to the piano, then started playing his Mozart piece.

Two bars in, the place went silent.

Not Eric of course, he kept playing.

But the din was done, gone. I caught a glimpse of more happy faces turning around to face the piano. Eric played it, almost as well as he ever has. 140 seconds later, it was over. There was a collective breath, a few quiet wows, and then applause. Another piece, then other kids followed, and they probably received the same good silent treatment, but I was in a little smiley world of my own by then, reliving the "hush ... wow".