As a child, I certainly had a dramatic side. The first day my kindergarten teacher read us the Three Billy Goats Gruff, I couldn't help but be the troll under the bridge, complete with scary troll voice. In grade four, I had difficulty being quiet. One afternoon, I could not help but sing the jingle from a particularly catchy Kraft Pizza television ad. During my second warning, my teacher told me that if I couldn't stop singing, I would have to sing in front of the entire class. I don't think she expected me to take her up on the offer. I called her bluff and she had to let me lead the class in "The Other Day, I Met a Bear." In grade six, I got the part of Marley's ghost in the school operetta. Unfortunately, the early onset of puberty meant that my singing voice cracked horribly. Eventually, my teacher suggested "Ted, just SAY the words to the song." I may have been the world's first white rapper. Oh - and I fell down the stairs during the dress rehearsal in front of the entire school, including my little sister and her creepy little friends. After elementary school, the arts were not part of my education or my life. Sports, friends, cars and Led Zeppelin took over.
I have always loved music but lack training, knowledge and musical ability of any kind. Some of that changed this year because I got the opportunity to take my younger son to his Music for Young Children classes. Now, I can at least read music. I've played a duet with my son. I'm still tone deaf and have a poor singing voice. Either way, I'm feeling a bit more complete.
On Monday, my children had their year end piano recital. My older son opened the recital by playing the national anthem (beautifully, I might add...) My younger boy played a version of "Do Your Ears Hang Low." The pieces ranged from simple and cute to wonderful, artistic renditions of difficult music. What struck me as I looked around the room was the look of intense pride on parents' faces as they listened to their children. I couldn't help but think back to the looks on the faces of hockey parents. I spend most of the winter watching and coaching minor hockey. Hockey parents definitely have their proud moments, but the looks are so much different to me. I'm not sure if it isthe intensity of the looks or the range of emotions that sets their reactions apart.
No judgments here - just observations. In the end, I'm glad that my kids had the chance to see the "Hockey" look of pride and the "Music" look of pride. And I'm glad that they had balance in their lives.