Designed and built in 1923 by architect William Binder, the Trianon Theatre in San Jose was inspired by Le Petit Trianon, a miniature chateau on the palace grounds of Versailles. The building has been said to be the best example of classic architecture in the city.
I was at this theater for a concert of my son’s, with the San Jose Youth Chamber Orchestra. It’s a wonderful program and an honor for him to have been chosen to play with this group.
Just down the street from this theatre are some eye-catching sculptures. One, called “Overcoming Adversity” had a mattress and some sneakers balanced on its base that Saturday morning.
I didn’t catch the name of the other sculpture across the street, but it looks colorful next to the matching house, with another Thursday Door just visible up the long staircase.
My son and I were a few minutes late to the pre-concert rehearsal: the familiar combination of an unfamiliar destination for me and just enough dawdling from him. During the drive I was stressed out and trying not to show it.
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing–being the last one to arrive–has happened to me and/or my family. It’s tempting to get exasperated with my son for his foot dragging, but that wouldn’t be fair, or the whole story. I’m not usually early to things either, and as a result I am often late too–just a few minutes, but still. How many times have I posted “Thursday Doors on Friday”?
Bay Area traffic remains unpredictable to me, and the solution to that is apparently to leave home early, to leave extra time. While that sounds like a great idea in principle, I don’t like being early. My reasons are not anything to be proud of, but they still feel real to me: I don’t want to be asked for directions or help when I show up. I especially don’t like trying to make small talk while waiting. I chafe under additional expectations. Being early feels like a burden.
And yet. The fact that we were late to an important pre-concert rehearsal made me feel sorry. And my son was more subdued during the performance than he might have been otherwise. He is 13, he learns what he lives, and I’ve let him down by letting my chronic few-minutes-lateness rub off on him. As his teacher says, it’s good to address it now, while I still have some control. When he is 20 and in college, my chance to influence him directly in this regard will have passed.
So I look at these theatre doors, and these sculptures, as something aspirational. I will try, in the future, to be punctual to set a good example for my son. It’s likely that there will be backsliding and mistakes. I will be late again, sometimes, and I will try not to beat myself up about it too much. But here, as with so many other things, if I want change, let it begin with me.