Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I can't play the piano. I played the cello for several years, but let's face it, I've pretty much forgotten how to play that too. But just about every day, our house is infused with piano music, thanks to my eldest daughter. She took lessons for six years, and during that time we had the usual struggle -- me reminding her to practice, her resisting. She grumbled and complained and came close to quitting several times, but somehow she stuck with it. When we moved about three-and-a-half years ago, we couldn't find a new piano teacher right away, and we made a remarkable discovery.
She was playing the piano every day, without reminders or sticker charts or anything. She was playing for her own pleasure. She started messing around with Broadway music, struggling with the sight-reading, tapping out melodies with her right hand, working away for an hour at a time. But this was a different kind of struggle. This struggle was pure joy.
I stopped trying to find a piano teacher. I let her be her own piano teacher. She has excelled.
When she has a bad day at school, or she's stressed about a paper or test, she goes straight for the piano. She plays, sometimes she sings along, and you can hear the stress leaking out of her fingertips. What a gift. What a precious, precious gift.
The other day I was trying to make dinner after a long day with the little ones, and it was one of those pre-dinner witching hours when every single one of us was grumpy and ready to snap. The teenager surveyed the scene, and went straight to the piano. With the first notes, I grumbled in my mind, just what I need, more noise! But after only a few moments, I noticed that the little ones had quieted, pulled by some gravitational force towards the living room, listening. And I noticed my tension start to slip away, lulled by the sweet music, reminded once again just how very blessed I am.
What a precious, precious gift.
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, courtesy of SteadyMom.