As I continue to navigate the writing life, I treasure the freedom and flexibility that comes with being my own boss and setting my own schedule. And after all of these years, I’m finally doing work I genuinely love.
Does she or doesn’t she? That is the question…at least for my brother. My dear sibling is a jazz musician and he is very disappointed in my husband and me. Why, you ask? I don’t think he has any quarrels with our parenting (I mean, how could he? His child, Lucy, is not of the human species – she’s a yellow lab), but he is crushed that we missed our chance to turn Chloe into a musical prodigy.
A few weeks ago, my brother and I had a long conversation about lots of things, including his youngest niece. He’s currently in the throes of getting his Ph.D. in music education in Austin, Texas, and is convinced that if we don’t act soon with Sophie (i.e., within the next couple of weeks), all hope will be lost for her too. Which makes him very sad. You see, our great-grandfather was a well-known musician in Russia (before the Revolution), who was able to immigrate to the United States largely because of his talents. The musical aptitude then skipped a couple of generations before planting itself in my brother, who happens to be a rather gifted guitarist.
I took piano lessons when I was much younger, but never really liked it (come to think of it, I tried a lot of extracurricular activities that I didn’t like, and my parents indulged my lack of sticktoitiveness to an extent that I refuse to replicate for my kids). So now my muscially inclined brother is hoping that his sister’s last child (’cause the factory’s closed, folks) will carry on the tradition.
Uncle James, this video is dedicated to you. Let us know what you think. Is there hope for our little Sophie, who has paid tribute to Beethoven with her own version of “Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy)“?