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She pressed one key then another and I listened as she discovered the sound each made as a result of the pressure she applied to them. She smiled as the song she created filled the room, a melody-less tune of questionable rhythm, the soundtrack of a three year old, music to my ears. Just as quickly as her tiny fingers danced over the black and white music maker, they stopped and she ran off to another task in another room leaving the keys vacant and alone.

I sat down in a chair much too small for my frame, with my knees nearly touching my chin. Like a giant surrounded by objects I’ve dwarfed, I pulled the miniature piano forward and placed my hands upon the keyboard resting them like I do on the home keys of my laptop, waiting for inspiration to encourage movement. Notes, like words, revealed themselves one at a time until the story was complete… until a quote I heard once before visited and lingered like an old friend.

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” 
–Tom Lehrer

She ran back in the room pressing random keys as she passed, laughs interrupting whatever song she was singing, before she climbed onto my lap. We sat there, our combined weight threatening the limit of the tiny chair we occupied, creating a song with my right hand and her left. These are the moments our days consist of that I think I'll remember the most several years from now, little moments of clarity and truth that reiterate just how beautiful life can be when we play along.

4 comments

  1. As an adult, I wish my parents would have forced me to take piano lessons as a child. I would have hated it and resented them, but I would have appreciated it now. So much of parenting is like that. You do what you think is right and best for them and if you're lucky, they turn out to be happy, well-adjusted, fully functioning adults who contribute to society. And if you're really lucky, they appreciate everything you did for them. But with the doing and the appreciating so many years apart, it's often a hard, lonely road for parents.

    PS - We're forcing our son to take piano lessons.

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    1. Well said... I couldn't agree more. It's amazing the difference in perspective from being the child to becoming the parent and the appreciation/understanding that comes with looking back on your own childhood and the efforts made from your parents. We follow our gut and cross our fingers and learn as we go, such is parenting.

      PS - I think that's great.

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  2. We've been talking a lot about getting a keyboard. =) My mom is willing to give me her old piano and that would be even better- but the logistics of getting it out of her house and into our house have prevented that move so far. I imagine how fun this would be- to make "music" with my kids!

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    1. I would love a piano... I'm sure moving one is quite a task, but you should make it happen. It would be worth it in the end, especially if it belonged to your mother.

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