One recent evening, when the girl, now a teenager, had other plans, my wife requested Shalimar for our date night. I'm pretty sure we had the same friendly waitress we had all those years ago. Same order, too: non-vegetarian thali with extra nan. It's a good choice for trying a little bit of everyone. There was also a lovely goat curry on offer that night.
Our lives have changed a lot in the years since. We still do a lot together as a family but the girl grows ever more independent. High school is right around the corner, college (hopefully) not too long after that. I get in trouble talking about such things around my wife. I've never been one to wish my child would stay young forever. Watching her grow up is fun and exciting to me, to a point. Knowing we have a limited time as a family of three makes it all the more precious. I remember enough from my own teen years to know that nights just the two of us will be more frequent rather than less so. It's nice in some ways. But there is sadness, too.
Can't help it. I was born a sentimental old fool.
After dinner, we went to a Vermont Symphony Orchestra concert. We've been going to a lot of such concerts, partly spurred by the girl's own ever expanding musical exploits. The program: Dreamtime Ancestors by Christopher Theofanidis, Barber's Violin Concerto and Beethoven's Symphony No. 8. The featured soloist for the concerto was the VSO's own concertmaster, Katherine Winterstein. She was amazing, leading me to wonder why symphonies don't give such opportunities to their own personnel more often. I suppose there are political and commercial advantages to hiring freelancers but it seems a shame.