Check One More Off the List
So here I sit at guitar lessons! Actually these are not an attempt to check off another item on my Bucket List, but frankly one more thing to check off the list of dutiful parenting. It was apparent 50 years ago that I was musically challenged, but I am diving headfirst into the parent pool of hope that my offspring will have a mutated gene that makes her different! But as I listen to her teacher talking music theory in some sort of foreign language and listen to agonizing catlike screeches coming from the strings of her guitar, I wonder once again what am I doing?? Sure, she begged for lessons in order to mimic one of her favorite TV characters who is "cool", however is all this time and treasure going to add to the formation of a healthy, happy individual? Where is the research on the correlation of music lessons and a successful, self-actualized adult? Is the prodding, threatening and begging to practice going to cancel out the benefits of the lessons? If the past is my compass, then I should pack up this overpriced and much too large for her guitar, ignore her very enthusiastic and getting-rich-on-my-retirement-fund teacher and walk out the door. "S's" dad and aunt both played instruments in MS. The reasons were simply put: to play drums to attract girls for my son and "all my friends are in band" for my daughter. I remember having to learn the art of persuasion which probably included cash payouts to get either of them to practice. We were considered the black sheep of all neighborhoods because "S's" father played the drums, to include a nasty call from one of our german neighbors who clanged pots and pans to get her message across. Of course there were also moments of pride as we sat in the audience while our children played in the school band or in my son's case an actual performing band, but eventually instuments gathered dust, and were sold. Life went in many different directions, none of them musical or in many cases melodious! So are music lessons just one more recommendation from some author's "How to Shape the Perfect Child" book? As the consummate cynic I know that parenting is more of a crap shoot than a recipe of ingredients. Wouldn't it be nice if just a pinch of this and a tablespoon of that and you could create a dish that could be showcased and served at every gathering. I have been cooking, so to speak, for 43 years, so I know that it will never be this simple. So for now, I provide her with experiences that I can only hope will enrich her life, and create another happy memory of our time together. Only this time around I hope I do not go deaf in the meantime.....
Garden Ridge, Texas