Me and my gals: Magic Flute Opening Night, May 6, 2022 (from left: KB, Midori Marsh, Jamie Groote–photo Anna Ronai)

So…not sure if I should say it, given all the talk about boundaries in recent posts. But I can’t help myself: I am so proud of these two amazing young women that I feel like…YES! A proud mama. Having known them since they were feisty, sometimes awkward, spunky, creative and somewhat green undergraduates and watching them grow into full-fledged artistic beings that have long since left my care and taken flight, it’s just so thrilling to watch them making their way in the world. Last weekend was a long-awaited Opera Extravaganza (with my bestie and partner-in-crime, Anna Ronai) as COC opened its doors once again (Traviata had opened the weekend prior) and we experienced live opera for the first time in more than 2 years. And it was an extra treat to hear Jamie and Midori–both of whom studied with us for 5 years at Laurier–in featured roles in both The Magic Flute and La Traviata. Even better: we got to spend a little face2face time with them at the post-show “toast” and celebrate their milestones. So exciting!

As a teacher and mentor (as well as an actual mother!) I know very well that the achievements of my students and my children are not mine. I’m a guide, a facilitator, a cheerleader, and sometimes a not-so-gentle coaxer. But ultimately, it is their own know-how, persistence, creativity and drive that sees them through. I can show them the door, or even the path to the door, but they are the ones who have to walk through it. But OMG, it is pretty phenomenal to sit in the audience and watch with incredulity as they take wing, flying like the unique and truly exciting artists that they are. That I have even one small part in that feels like the greatest gift. And then of course the greatest gift of all is that they still keep me informed of their doings, that they let me bask in their reflected glory! Congratulations to these two wonderful women, not to mention the countless others whose paths have crossed with mine and who I may, in some small way, have influenced in their journeys. Here’s to teachers, mentors and students alike!