Time to go home.

It was when I was twelve or thirteen. One evening, I was visiting my piano teacher with my mother for my weekly lesson. As usual, we chatted for a while, and when I finally sat at the piano to start the lesson, my teacher suddenly looked at the clock and got alarmed.

“Oh, I didn’t realize. It’s late already!”

She wasn’t worried about my lesson, but about her son and his friends who were playing in the next room. Being of the same age as me, they were not little kids anymore, but it was winter time and the dusk had already fallen outside. She wanted to make sure that everybody went home safely.

“Excuse me, but I need to tell them to go home immediately.”

My teacher said, walked out of the lesson room and knocked on the next door. Since the room was right next to ours, we could hear everything.

“Boys, did you notice the time? It’s late,” we heard her say. There were some mumbling voices from the boys, followed by my teacher’s voice. “It’s getting dark and your mothers will be worried. You can stay for 30 more minutes, but then you have to go home. Understood?”

When my teacher came back, my mother laughed and said to her.

“I thought you were going to send them home right away! You changed your mind?”

“I know,” my teacher replied. “But they were having such fun. I wanted them to stay together a little longer!”

Somehow, the scene stuck in my head forever. As a child, I was surprised that she had changed her mind on such a seemingly important matter, and at the same time touched by the fact that the reason she gave that extra 30 minutes was because her son and his friends were having a really good time together.