My children call me “the meanest mom” they know. It’s a title I wear with pride as it really means, “You make me do chores,” “You monitor my computer time,” and “You make me do the schoolwork that I’m capable of instead of what the government/schoolboard requires.” Also very high on the list of why I’m so mean is music lessons. The kids take music lessons until they graduate from high school.
Cal and I both come from musical families so we think of music lessons like we think of math—it’s just one of those things you have to learn. And the music teachers have agreed, the children all were given musical gifts. Of course, just like math, they’d rather not study it, even if they’re good at it.
Jacob was, according to his teacher, born with an internal metronome. So he’s particularly good with rhythm. His teacher’s given him lots of syncopated, swing, etc. But she’s also given him sonatas. She claims he was created to play sonatas. Jacob strongly disagrees. Here’s what happened at his lessons the other day.
Teacher: Take the second ending.
J: Can’t I take the first? (So he can replay the stuff he has just played and avoid the difficult stuff coming next.)
J (After finishing the section): I don’t like this piece.
Teacher: Too bad. I do.
J: It’s really long.
Teacher: Honey, this is only the first movement.
J (After the stunned silence wears off): What?
Teacher (paging through the piece): This is the second movement
Teacher: Oh, look here is the third movement.
J: I really hate this song.
Teacher: This is my favorite sonata
J: When can I quit it?
Teacher: When you love it as much as I do.
Jacob sighs heavily and meditates on the fact that he’ll be working on the stupid sonata FOREVER. And me, what am I doing during this exchange? I’m smiling—there are way “meaner” people in the world than me.