… Why do parent’s do anything for their kids? Because they want what’s best. We want our kids to be smarter, more athletic, more involved and well rounded than we were growing up. Let’s face it. I was an unsophisticated child.
What?! I know it’s hard to believe. Me unsophisticated. But yes, chasing the mosquito truck was the highlight of summer vacation and bribing that one kid, who was allergic to penicillin, to eat moldy bread was considered a science project. Such is the life of an unsupervised latch-key kid.
So of course I want better for my son. One thing I always wanted to do as a little girl was take piano lessons. I wanted to go to recitals and dreamed of music school in New York City. But I was poor. My cousin, the pretty one that everybody loved, took piano lessons though. She had the recitals. I had a paper route. But I’m not bitter. Really. OK, so I was bitter growing up but not anymore. We’re actually very close, as close as sisters. I digress…
Fast forward to now. [/denial] Of course none of this past baggage has anything to do with the fact that I want my son to play the piano despite all his protests. Nope. None at all. [/denial off] I mean, really. I play the violin and bass guitar, and by “play” I mean make lots of God awful racket. But my dad is a seriously talented musician. Talented enough to make a successful living doing what he loves. Surely my progeny has the same talent. It’s just deeply hidden and my insistence will force it out of him. Play the piano, damn you!
Then it finally dawned me, like a light from heaven and a choir of angels, why don’t I just take those piano lessons now? And my son was like, Duh mom. So I went and acquired for myself a nice keyboard and got a self teaching instruction book.
I cannot wait to learn “Gather Us In” or “Eagle’s Wings” or “Sing a New Song”. Then I can perform them at my friend’s after-ordination party. Or for Jeron when he professes his final vows. Yeah. I bet he’d really appreciate that. Of course I jest.
On a serious note, though, be kind to your kids. Don’t force them into extracurricular activities they aren’t interested in. Foster in them an appreciation for something first. With appreciation comes genuine interest. They’ll let you know when they are genuinely interested, either outright or by their reactions. And never ever try to relive or recreate your childhood through your children’s. This is a recipe for resentment. You had your childhood, let them have theirs.