: a musical instrument having steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers operated from a keyboard
Since our girls were little, J and I have hoped to help them find an activity they love by middle school. That proved to be remarkably easy with A. At age three, she started asking to take dance. I finally relented and signed her up for afterschool ballet in first grade and that was that. She's been dancing ever since.
B, on the other hand has played soccer, taken ballet, played basketball, done an art club, taken jazz funk dance, played soccer again. She liked most of it, but didn't love any of it (except the art club). Then, over the summer she told me she wanted to learn how to sing. She started choir in the fall and never once complained about going on Sundays to sing. In December, I asked her if she wanted to take piano. She jumped at the chance and learned the entire piano book between her first and second lessons. She practices all the time, always without being asked.
I would never have chosen for my daughter to dance. I have two left feet. I know nothing about dance. The atmosphere of most studios stresses me out with the slightly snobby air. But for all that I don't know much about dance, music is the one thing I understand even less. I don't even like to listen to music very much. Music is basically a vehicle for lyrics for me. I don't know how to read music. To be brutally honest, I can't even hear the beat in music most of the time.
So I didn't know how I would hold up to have a daughter banging away on the piano. Could I stand the noise? Much to my surprise, it's been just fine. It doesn't hurt anything that B plays almost every song melodically from her first try. And, honestly, it's just grace that I can enjoy her gift of music and see it as a gift.
My mom came up to visit recently and she loved seeing B play the piano that was my grandmother's. B comes by her musical gifts honestly. My grandmother played the piano, sang in and led her church choir for years. J's grandmother has perfect pitch and it was pure delight one Christmas to have her visit and play any Christmas carol I named without hesitation. It does make me happy to see B carry on the gifts, but even more I am happy to see B for who she is. I'm not happy because she's inherited this gift, but that the gift is hers.
Just like A shows a crystal clear version of who she is when she dances, B's piano playing is part of her. She plays when she's happy, when she's sad, when she's mad, when she's bored. And as much as she loves that piano, I love her more. I love seeing who she is and imagining who she'll be.