I’m churning out chocolate treble clefs. Next, I will fold twenty origami butterflies. Julia – YES, JULIA! – has broken out in hives.

Tonight is her Suzuki book one piano recital.

I wanted to tell her, “Hives! Hey, at least it’s not nervous diarrhea!” (That’s what I have! TMI!) Instead I tried some reassurance. “Don’t be nervous, Jules,” I said as she headed off for school. “You’re ready.” She is. “You are ready for this.”

“Yeah,” she replied, scratching at her red bumps. “It’s just….it’s just…”

“I know. It’s big.”

“Yeah. But you’ll be there with me, right?”

“Always.”